“However I remain disappointed that these allegations were leaked to the media, especially while the club was undertaking its governance reform process.

“It’s important for our members and the general public to realise that the external report that I commissioned last year found that all these allegations were misconceived and that most were plainly false.

“Today that view has been endorsed by the regulator after a very thorough process and as a result members and the public can be confident in how their club is managed.”

Paul said that he was pleased that the lengthy investigation process had been completed and would no longer be a distraction to the positive changes the club had delivered over the past 12 months.

“I have always been confident that the investigation would clear the club as the allegations had been unsupported by any evidence other than the perspective of the individual’s interpretation of events and motives,” Paul said.

“It’s now important to focus on continuing along the road of improving the club’s facilities, growing and diversifying revenue, being good corporate citizens and supporting the Eels.

“Unfortunately enduring mud-slinging comes with the job but in this case all that’s been proven is that Parramatta Leagues Club is compliant with the Act and that observers, including the regulator, are now aware of the lack of substance to these kinds of claims.”

Eels chairman Sean McElduff described Tuesday’s vote on constitutional reforms to the PLC as “one of the most important meetings in the Parramatta Eels’ recent history”. The mooted changes, which require 75 per cent support of members, would result in the Eels being included in the PLC constitution for the first time and be the first step towards members voting for their own board by 2021. If the changes are pushed through, Donnelly will step down from his post within three months.

McElduff said the reforms would finally provide stability to the Eels after the club churned through six CEOS, five coaches, 25 directors and endured five breaches of the salary cap in the past decade.

Eels coach Brad Arthur, legendary former No.7 Peter Sterling and star players Clint Gutherson and Mitchell Moses are among the blue and gold identities backing the governance reforms.

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