Kalyn Ponga-Newcastle deal under investigation for third-party dealing

Julian Miller
By: Julian Miller
14/05/2024
News
BettingTop10 News
Ponga’s father alleges his son is owed money by a third party

The NRL integrity unit reportedly conducted several meetings with Newcastle officials, Ponga, his father, and other concerned parties last week. 

News Insights

  • Andre Ponga says a third party owes his son a six-figure amount.
  • The NRL has opened an investigation into whether these payments are legal under the salary cap.
  • If wrongdoing is found, Knights could face a significant fine.
  • Ponga is out with a Lisfranc foot injury.

Newcastle Knights star fullback Kalyn Ponga’s contract with the club signed back in 2020 is now under investigation by the NRL’s integrity unit. Reportedly, the NRL is concerned that Newcastle avoided salary cap rules by using a third-party to bring Ponga to the Knights. Andre Ponga, Kalyn’s father, says a third party owes his son a six-figure amount. 

Third-party involvement alleged in Ponga-Newcastle deal 

Kalyn Ponga’s father and manager Andre Ponga reportedly complained to the NRL about payments owed to his son by a third party. Most reports say Ponga has alleged Kalyn is owed a ‘six-figure’ sum from a registered third party agent who played a role in keeping the fullback in Newcastle back in 2020.  
 
Andre’s complaints have sparked a minor NRL investigation, which sparked questions in the league office about whether the deal was at arm’s length from Newcastle Knights. A full investigation has now been commissioned.  
 
The NRL is aware of the matter and is reviewing it,” an NRL spokesperson told The Sydney Morning Herald.  
 
Another unnamed source revealed that the NRL integrity unit has been investigating this case since at least early last week. According to this source, the league has met multiple times with Andre and Kayln Ponga. Andre specifically is working with Knights and the NRL to gather more necessary information about the third-party deal.  
 
The name of the third-party has yet to be disclosed.  

Newcastle Knights deny allegations 

If the Knights were to be found guilty of using a third-party to circumvent NRL salary rules, they could face significant penalties and heavy fines. Newcastle are adamant that they have done nothing wrong.  
 
“All third parties are registered with the NRL. There’s no issue with Kalyn Ponga’s contract and anything to do with third parties remains between the player and his agent to resolve,” the club said on Monday.  

The NRL’s salary cap auditor will be the final judge of whether Ponga’s deal was actually above board. If the auditor determines retroactively that Newcastle violated NRL salary rules, Newcastle could be forced to pay fines upwards of $700,000. 
 
In 2018, Manly were fined $750,000 for multiple breaches of salary cap rules between 2013 and 2017. The Sea Eagles were also deducted $660,000 from their 2018 and 2019 salary cap budgets, after being found guilty of funnelling $1.5 million in undisclosed third-party deals to its players.  
 
Kalyn Ponga’s future is not expected to be affected by the ongoing investigation. The 26-year-old fullback is out for the rest of the season with a severe foot injury. 

If all goes well for Ponga, he will receive the disputed six-figure sum from the undisclosed third party and be back at his best for Knights next season. Newcastle are currently 10th in the ladder and one of the outsiders to advance to the Finals Series, according to the betting sites.  

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