ALL future betting markets on the Parramatta Eels have been suspended at both WilliamHill.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au after the NRL stripped the club of 12 premiership points for salary cap breaches.
The club has also been fined $1 million dollars and had five officials sacked from the board in the wake of their second diabolical administrative blunder in three years.
The Eels – who were on the fifth line of betting for the 2016 premiership – were nowhere to be found on any premiership betting futures markets after Tuesday’s announcement.
In addition to suspending all betting on the Eels, Sportsbet.com.au has promised to refund all punters who backed the Eels this season as part of its ‘justice payout’ initiative. Premiership, Minor Premiership, Top 4 finish, Top 8 finish and to make the grand final bets will be refunded should they not become achievable due to the points deduction.
“Punters placed their bets in good faith and will feel hard done by, considering the Eels were sitting pretty two points from the top of the ladder, so we’ve done the right thing and promised to refund back their cash should they miss out further down the line,” said sportsbet.com.au’s Will Byrne.
Manly, Canterbury and Penrith are now joint $17 fifth favourites for the 2016 premiership at Sportsbet.com.au – a vast improvement on the much bigger odds all three were sitting on prior to the league’s announcement.
In more positive news for Parra punters, the outcome has not impacted Corey Norman’s Dally M chances in the eyes of Sportsbet.com.au.
The 25-year-old full back is still the third favourite for the coveted medal at $9.
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg determined the Eels’ the penalty on Monday night after the three month investigation into a range of third party agreements.
This is the heaviest penalty imposed on an NRL club since the Melbourne Storm was stripped of two premierships, lost all their competition points and were fined $1.7 million back in 2010.
The 12 point deduction leaves the Eels at the bottom of the ladder after nine rounds and out of contention after a promising start to the season which saw them sitting in fifth position.
The Eels still have the opportunity to play for premiership points this season if they are able to remove players from their squad to get their salary cap back under the league mandated amount.
It is understood Parramatta will have to reduce this year’s cap by more than $500,000 to compete for points.
Whilst unlikely, if the Eels were able to win 12 of their remaining 15 games this season they would be a mathematical chance to play finals this season.
It is a bitter blow for the Eels who were looking to put a string of off-field incidents behind them with a strong 2016 season, which until Tuesday seemed like a likely scenario.
Despite the league’s findings, the Eels remain the $1.45 favourites at Sportsbet.com.au to defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night.
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