During the course of our careers, it has typically been a lack of pay that has plagued us. We can say with assurance that we have never been accused of a salary cap breach.

Former Manly Sea Eagle Coach Geoff Toovey can say the same thing, at least from the perspective that during his five-year tenure, no one from the league spoke with him about any violations.

Toovey was in charge during the period in question.

He may have been surprised when the NRL fined Manly $750,000 and slapped them with a $330,000 penalty to their salary cap figures for this year and next year.

That figure is approximately the same amount as the club promised to pay players in secret payments over the time period in question.

Toovey held the reins from 2012 to 2015 and expressed surprise that the league had never asked him about his role or knowledge in the affair, telling NRL.com, “No one spoke to me at all about the investigation. I have no knowledge of what’s happened.When they started saying when the problems started to occur, I thought someone might ask me what the situation was.At the end of their day they’ve done their job I suppose, but I don’t know exactly what happened or when the breaches started and stopped or what they were.”

Leaving the coach out of the loop would seem a sound strategy.

It is caused Plausible Deniability. Toovey could not lie, or be accused of lying if he had no knowledge of what was going on.

Manly never profited from the scheme, not to a great extent at any rate. They did win NRL premierships in 2008 and 2011. They were runners up in 2007 and 2013, so it is logical to assume that their cap space was used up trying to hold onto players who were in demand elsewhere.

Manly Captain Daly Cherry-Evans denied that his salary was supplemented by secret payments, but his contract is under the NRL microscope for any irregularities.