http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,4942033%255E9787,00.html By PETER FRILINGOS August 21, 2002 THE Bulldogs have called in computer security experts, fearing a team of hackers stole the confidential salary cap information that now threatens their immediate existence in the NRL. Computer experts spent the past 48 hours investigating hi-tech software systems at both the football and leagues clubs. The investigation comes as Bulldogs chief executive Bob Hagan yesterday emerged as the first high-profile casualty of the salary cap scandal, resigning his post in a day of upheaval. While Mr Hagan was quitting, Canterbury Leagues club chairman Gary McIntyre was offering his head to both boards. But with Mr McIntyre absent from the room while both bodies considered his position, the boards unanimously asked him to remain as leagues club supremo and legal adviser. The Bulldogs fear corporate sabotage could explain how the salaries of the entire first grade squad found its way into the hands of enemies of the club and its billion dollar Oasis development at Liverpool. Mr McIntyre last night reluctantly spoke about his fears that the computer systems had been illegally accessed. "We accept our culpability on the salary cap issue but I am very concerned that our predicament is more than the cap issue," he said. "We have a billion dollar deal at Liverpool and we are genuinely concerned that there has been unlawful access to the computer systems of our football and leagues clubs and associated entities. "It involves sensitive and privileged documents of our magnificent sporting and entertainment project known as the Oasis at Liverpool." And in the face of almost certain expulsion from the NRL playoff series, Mr McIntyre later foreshadowed legal action to ensure the club remained in the hunt for the premiership. That veiled threat drew an immediate response from NRL chief executive David Gallop, the man who will decide the club's fate, probably by the end of the week. "The Bulldogs voluntarily entered into a club agreement which included an obligation to comply with salary cap rules," Mr Gallop said. Mr Hagan insisted he was not forced to resign from his post and objected to the Bulldogs being labelled cheats for breaching the salary cap by $1 million over two years. "In light of admissions made by the Bulldogs to the NRL in relation to salary cap breaches I have decided to resign as chief executive officer," he said. "As the CEO I am ultimately accountable for all that happens in the club and clearly someone must take responsibility for one of the darkest periods in the history of the club. "It is a decision that I make with a great deal of sorrow. "Once again I apologise tofans and I urge them to continue to support a team that has achieved tremendous success with their dedication and with a team spirit that is unlike any I have seen before. "Having said that I do believe that alternative options need to be investigated to ensure that clubs can retain players they have invested extensive time and money in developing." Mr McIntyre said the written advice from the league last year was that the penalty for a salary cap breach was to be a maximum fine of $500,000 and the loss of a maximum of four competition points to be served in the following year. "The rules do not expressly provide for the expulsion of a team from the competition, nor has a warning been given that such an option could be taken," Mr McIntyre said. "To take such action would be grossly unfair, unconscionable and unlawful. "The club would be entitled to protect its legal rights." Mr Gallop's reply left no doubt the NRL intended to enforce the cap provisions. "All fans would question the credibility of attacking the rules only once you've been caught," Mr Gallop said. "The Bulldogs voluntarily entered into a club agreement which included an obligation to comply with salary cap rules. "The club has participated in numerous discussions about the importance of those rules at CEOs meetings and has never indicated that in their view the rules were unreasonable. "Indeed the club was fined for a salary cap breach in the year 2000 and accepted the fine. "Any restraint is not on individuals but on the clubs." - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email email@example.com with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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