NRL to investigate Eels over Obeid home deal

Obeids extending their influence: Family patriarch Eddie Obeid. Picture: AAP
Obeids extending their influence: Family patriarch Eddie Obeid. Picture: AAP
Under the salary cap spotlight: Parramatta's Darcy Lussick. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Under the salary cap spotlight: Parramatta's Darcy Lussick. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

The NRL will investigate whether there are any salary cap implications in a property deal between Parramatta forward Darcy Lussick and a company connected to the Obeid family.

The NRL is in the process of conducting a mid-year review of each club's salary caps and the Eels matter will come under scrutiny as part of the audit.

Lussick acquired a discounted apartment from Gerard Obeid’s company Pope Property Holdings in June last year for $600,000. The apartment had been acquired by the Obeid’s a year earlier for $630,462.

''We are not commenting on specifics about Parramatta,'' an NRL spokesperson said.

''All clubs have regular mid-year salary reviews and Parramatta will be part of that process.''

Several Parramatta identities have resided in the Top Ryde complex, including former recruitment manager Peter Nolan and player Lee Mossop.

''I have no comment to make. The matter has been totally settled and will be the subject of some further discussion, probably with a lawyer,'' Lussick's manager, Wayne Beavis, said.

''It was a straight commercial transaction. It's all been resolved. It's not an issue.''

Nolan recently parted company with the Eels to take up a role with the Brisbane Broncos.

Two executives from South Sydney have claimed that in 2012, at the same time Eddie Obeid's son Moses Obeid was in court battling the City of Sydney over a contract to supply streetpoles, his father was lobbying for a director’s position on the Souths board for Moses.

According to one executive, Mr Obeid’s line was: ''Moses could join our board and bring millions of dollars to the club. He could assist with payments direct to players, with third-party deals – all this insidious stuff.''

Another Souths executive confirmed the Obeid approach in 2012. ''We are not doing anything with Eddie Obeid,'' he told fellow executives at the time.

A source said that the Obeid family took a particular interest in halfback Chris Sandow, who was a Rabbitohs player until 2011. Sandow then made a much-publicised switch to Parramatta.

''One part of the family follows Souths, another part of the family follows Parramatta,'' a source said.

''When Chrissy Sandow was up [off contract], they were arguing over where he should go. There was a suggestion they were looking to do something for Chrissy [at Parramatta].''

Sandow has a third-party agreement with an IT company, which is known to the club and is registered with the NRL. However, the League may investigate whether there are other deals they were unaware of.

Sandow's manager, Isaac Moses, was not contactable on Thursday night.

''These matters relate to a period before the current administration,'' a Parramatta spokesperson said.

''We are unaware of any inappropriate dealings by these players or their managers. The individuals mentioned [the Obeids] have no role or relationship with the current management or board of the Eels.''

Fairfax has previously reported that in 2012 the Obeids acquired another five residential apartments in a Top Ryde apartment complex at almost half the cost of neighbouring apartments. The purchase of the apartments from Iwan Sunito of the Crown Group was personally handled by disgraced former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid.

Mr Sunito's company Crown Group had purchased the residential component of the Top Ryde development from the financially troubled Beville group.

For years it was rumoured the Obeids had secured apartments in the Pope Street complex after assisting the initial developer, John Beville.

Previous attempts to develop the site had foundered because of traffic issues. But Mr Beville's company Bevillesta negotiated a solution with the roads authority and paid Ryde Council $18 million for land access to enable a tunnel to be built under the proposed development.


Discuss "NRL to investigate Eels over Obeid home deal"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.