CATALANS Dragons president Bernard Guasch has been handed a £10,000 fine for his criticism of match officials in the immediate aftermath of his team's Grand Final defeat.

After being incensed by the decisions of referee Liam Moore and the rest of his officials during the Dragons' 12-10 defeat by St Helens at Old Trafford in October, Guasch vowed he would never again allow his team to play a final under English referees.

In an interview with the Perpignan-based L'Independent newspaper, Guasch said: "As long as I'm president of the Catalans Dragons, I'll never play a Super League final again until we have three Australian referees."

The Rugby Football League's head of match officials Steve Ganson branded Guasch's comments "ridiculous" and the RFL referred the matter to its compliance department for investigation.

Now an independent tribunal has fined the Catalans owner £10,000, of which £2,500 is suspended for three years, after ruling he breached the RFL's operational rules.

A statement from the RFL said: "Bernard Guasch, owner and president of Catalans Dragons, has tonight been fined £10,000 (£2,500 suspended for three years) for comments made about the match officials following last month's Super League Grand Final."

The panel decided Guasch failed to adhere to the RFL's Respect and Tackle It policies in terms of behavioural standards, use of unacceptable language, making public statements about match officials and conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game.