‘They feel betrayed’: Enough of the coach poach, says Tigers boss
WESTS Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe says the NRL must stop coach poaching to ensure the game’s integrity after claiming the joint venture’s fans felt betrayed by departing mentor Ivan Cleary.
Pascoe urged the NRL to adopt a system where coaches can only be approached by rivals when off contract, just like players, after Cleary was released from the final two years of his Tigers deal to return to Penrith.
The Tigers chief said the NRL must ensure coaches are not courted by other clubs until the final year of their contract to avoid a repeat of what the joint venture endured as speculation swirled around Cleary’s future.
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Maguire "favourable outcome"0:00
NRL: CEO Justin Pascoe has applauded Tigers stakeholders for their handling of the Cleary coaching drama, insisting the subsequent signing of Michael Maguire was a favourable outcome.
While Pascoe was thrilled to have signed Michael Maguire as Cleary’s replacement, the Tigers boss said the rules for poaching coaches had to change.
The topic is expected to be discussed at the NRL CEOs meeting next month.
“I am a big advocate of following the same principles that we do with players, which is they shouldn’t be allowed to speak with coaches until they are in the final year of their contract,” Pascoe told Sky Sports Radio.
“There are many, especially in the media, that are advocates that this sort of disruption is good for the game, that it attracts back page press for the game.
“But when you are looking at trying to get extra revenue into the game and get those corporates attracted to the game what resonates is that there is a lack of integrity that exists around contracts and contract obligations.
“I think the disruption is bad for the game. I don’t think it brings positivity around the game at all.”
Broncos to confirm Seibold as next coach0:00
NRL: The Broncos board are set to confirm South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold as their next coach after Wayne Bennett.
Former South Sydney premiership-winning coach Maguire signed a three-year Tigers deal after Cleary confirmed he would leave mid-contract and take up a five-season Panthers offer.
Pascoe said he was “blown away” when Cleary first told him he wanted to leave but looked forward to welcoming New Zealand coach Maguire, who will link with the club mid-November after the Kiwis’ three-Test England series.
“People believe in coaches, they believe in trusting coaches and when that trust is broken they feel betrayed and I think they (Tigers fans) have a right to (feel) that,” Pascoe said of Cleary’s departure.
“But I think they will be very happy in that we were able to secure a fantastic coach in Michael Maguire.
“He’s got a great record and we look forward to him emulating that with us.”
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Originally published as ‘They feel betrayed’: Enough of the coach poach, says Tigers boss
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