News Limited boss John Hartigan on what is being termed The Biggest Fraud In Australia's Professional Sporting History, involving the Melbourne Storm, the rugby league team News Limited owns :
"This club has had a couple of rats in its ranks...."It was a line Hartigan ran out for an interviews on A Current Affair, ABC News and every other encounter he had with news media yesterday.
News Limited's The Herald Sun complies on its online front page :
John Hartigan must be feeling particularly rattled by this scandal, not only for the millions News Limited will lose now its team is facing a massive plunge in merch revenue and sponsorship dollars for the rest of the season, but also because News Limited's "exclusive" coverage of all things Melbourne Storm was said to be one of the key selling points of the 'premium' paywall packages the corporation is now putting together for a launch only a few weeks away.
News Limited no longer has the Melbourne Storm as a viable attraction to entice rugby league junkies to pay to read The Herald Sun or The Daily Telegraph online.
That's gonna hurt.