Moreover, Moses also represents a long list of current or prospective NRL coaches including Anthony Seibold, Anthony O’Brien and Stephen Kearney giving him particularly strong pockets of influence at the Broncos and Warriors.
Some of the top-earning clients can save six-figure amounts if they are able to immediately terminate their management contracts and stop paying Moses his trailing commission. However, that may not be so easy given some of the contracts state that the client is bound to Moses’ Cove Agency even if he is struck off.
When the NRL ushered in its new agent accreditation scheme in December of 2018, the rules were changed to allow players on the books of a deregistered management firm to seek new representation, if they so chose. However, if the player committed to the company – rather than just the agent – before that date, that commitment still stands.
The Herald has seen a clause inserted into the contracts of several Cove Agency clients that shows Moses has a contingency plan for the situation that he currently finds himself in.
“Should the Principal of the Company no longer be in the employ of the Company, or has his accreditation cancelled or otherwise ceases to be an accredited agent, then the Company will provide an alternative duly accredited principal to manage the affairs of the Player for the Term remaining on this contract,” states a clause in of the contracts Moses struck with a leading player.
It means Stephen Moses, a relative of Moses and an accredited agent at Cove, could act for the firm’s players. That could result in a disgruntled player being stuck with the agency until their contract expires if they signed before the new agent scheme was introduced.
The Herald has been told of several players who want out of Moses’ stable. He has already lost a handful of clients after a messy split with former business partner Joe Wehbe, which was only resolved after they settled following a Supreme Court battle.
Roosters superstar James Tedesco fell out with Moses and became the first player to entrust his affairs to Wehbe, who isn’t currently an accredited agent. Dubbed the ‘football whisperer’ after acting as a mystery mentor to a raft of star players including Tedesco, Israel Folau and Daly Cherry-Evans, Wehbe is likely to add more stars to his stable. However, he can’t execute a playing contract unless he becomes a registered manager.
Rugby League Central is about to clamp down on the practice of managers having both coaches and players on their books due to conflicts of interest.
“That is being looked at, there’s no doubt about that, because there is a conflict,” ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said. “We are certainly pursuing that. Because of COVID and everything that has gone on, that has been put on the backburner for a bit.
“That will be reignited once we get through this time because it’s high on the list. Integrity is everything and it’s not only got to be right, but it’s got to look right.
“Having managers look after coaches and players is not the best model.
“They play an important role and we have to make sure everything is done without any conflicts, just like any other business activity.
“Whether it’s managers or anything else, if there are conflicts you have to address the conflict.”
Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.