DANNY Buderus may need to find a new agent to negotiate his next contract after the NRL’s decision to suspend George Mimis for his role in the Melbourne Storm salary cap rort.
Mimis and fellow player-managers David Riolo and Isaac Moses were suspended until October 31 for breaching the code of ethics under the NRL’s accredited player agents scheme.
Allan Gainey, who manages former Storm star Greg Inglis, was issued with a caution.
All four were implicated in the salary cap scandal that resulted in Melbourne being stripped of their 2007 and 2009 premierships.
Mimis, who protested his innocence last night in a media release, represents some of Newcastle’s most influential figures: coach Wayne Bennett, skipper Kurt Gidley, Test star Darius Boyd and Buderus.
All except Buderus are tied to long-term contracts.
The former Test hooker returned to Newcastle on a one-season deal after three years in Leeds.
But it took only a matter of weeks for the 34-year-old to convince Bennett he could go around again next year.
‘‘If he wants to play next year, I’m more than happy to have him there,’’ Bennett said on March 25. ‘‘I’ve told him that. That’s up to him now.’’
‘‘He’s got to get through the year ... and want to be there, but I’m not one that wants to get rid of the older players, not when they’re playing like he is and the contribution that he makes.’’
If, as expected, Buderus agrees to play on beyond the end of this campaign, Mimis’s suspension will preclude him from negotiating on his client’s behalf until November.
The ban prevents the agents from negotiating contracts for their clients but does not stretch to stopping them from speaking to their players or scouting for young players.
They cannot sign individuals to their companies until their bans have been served, but other members of the staff who are accredited could still operate on their behalf.
Buderus was previously managed by one of Mimis’s partners at SFX Sports, Darryl Mather, as was Gidley.
Mimis, who manages Storm fullback Billy Slater, said last night that he intended to challenge the verdict and insisted the NRL’s sanction would not impact on the players he manages.
‘‘I maintain my innocence throughout this matter and my innocence was supported by a statutory declaration given by the player [Slater] as to the sequence of events,’’ Mimis said.
‘‘The committee’s decision is, personally, a heavy disappointment. I intend to take all steps open to me to have the decision set aside.
‘‘Irrespective of this outcome, it is business as usual at SFX Sports Group and we will continue to act in our clients’ best interest and secure the best terms for our clients.’’
Knights chief Matthew Gidley said yesterday that he had not spoken to Mimis nor the NRL but doubted the suspension would have any significant impact on Mimis’s clients in Newcastle.
‘‘I’d imagine that SFX will just arrange another player-agent to fill in while ever George Mimis is unavailable,’’ Gidley said.