Salford City Reds insist they have acted “openly and honestly” in their transfer dealings in response to allegations by Wakefield Trinity Wildcats of illegal player approaches.
Crisis-hit Wildcats were forced to sell Tim Smith to Salford to balance the books and pay wages to the rest of their squad but Wakefield have accused Reds of making illegal approaches for “three or four” of their other players.
Wildcats have gone to the Rugby Football League (RFL) over the approaches but Salford have responded to say all their transfer activity has been above board.
A Salford spokesperson said: “We are content the club has acted openly and honestly in all of its transactions and followed the correct procedures and will continue to do so.”
Smith is due to be unveiled alongside Salford’s other new signings for 2014 on Thursday and the RFL have said they will investigate Wakefield’s complaint once evidence has been received.
Wildcats head coach Richard Agar alleged Salford had directly approached some of his stars on Sunday after seeing his side lose 40-0 at Huddersfield Giants.
He said: “Salford have directly contacted three or four of our players. We’ve notified the RFL quite a while ago about this.
“They’ll deny it and there’s a third party agent working for them but I know that players under contract have been approached and that’s a disappointing mode of operation. We know certain things go on but sometimes there’s ways and means of doing things.”
Wildcats chairman Michael Carter said the approaches have had an impact on player performances and aired his disappointment at the alleged approaches.
“There have been direct approaches to our players which, for me as a chairman, I would not directly approach a player of another club to come here,” he said.
“It’s not in my make up to do that and I’m disappointed, that through third party agents or owners that our players have been targeted.
“It’s not difficult to tell who it is and they’re not thinking about the game, their heads have been turned. If someone is throwing an extra 20 or 30 grand at them then it’s going to turn their heads.
“I’ve never had a problem with the players but I’m disappointed at some of the actions that are going on outside this club and it happened the last time as well. I wasn’t here when the old regime went bust but I know it happened last time and it’s disappointing that some clubs that do it.”