Toovey to cost $ 2.6m
MANLY will be forced to outlay a whopping $ 2.6 million to sack coach Geoff Toovey.
And this from a club expected to lose $ 1.5 million this season. News Corp Australia has been told Manly’s sole owners, the Penn family, will have to dig deep to pay out Toovey, who was officially sacked yesterday.
Toovey will continue coaching Manly for the rest of this season before Panthers assistant Trent Barrett takes over for three years. Toovey told his players of the decision yesterday morning.
With payouts to other staff and new contracts for Barrett and assistant coach John Cartwright, the Penns will need to find about $ 2.6 million.
The Penns will shoulder the entire bill.
The Manly Rugby League football club board – which has just two seats on the club’s major seven-member board – issued a statement yesterday condemning Toovey’s sacking.
Penn associates point out the football club does not inject a cent into the Sea Eagles.
Toovey was not answering his phone yesterday but will front the media this morning. Barrett also was unavailable.
Sea Eagles godfather Ken Arthurson is a great admirer of Toovey but says he “can appreciate the club’s decision.” Arthurson and Fulton have been in constant contact.
Manly fans yesterday took to social media to express their disappointment as club officials pushed ahead with a new era and coaching structure.
“Without the Penns, there is no club,” said one well- placed source. At 10.39am yesterday, Manly issued a statement revealing Toovey’s demise.
Toovey played 286 first grade games and was club captain between 1993 and 2001.
“Geoff has been an influential figure within the Sea Eagles … for almost three decades. His contribution on and off the field is un pre -ceden-ted,” said Manly chief executive Joe Kelly.
Toovey was at training yesterday for Satur day night’s clash with the Broncos in Gosford. ROOSTERS skipper Mitchell Pearce insists Shaun Kenny-Dowall deserves to resume training with the NRL premiership favourites, saying: “This is where he feels safe.”
After a horror fortnight that saw him charged with domestic violence and then hospitalised with mental health issues, Kenny- Dowall this week returned to the Roosters Moore Park headquarters – joining a weights session and then fieldwork yesterday.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson said that while the 27year- old would not line up against Canterbury on Friday night, he could return for the Tricolours against Newcastle on Sunday week.
However, both Robinson and Pearce stressed their only concern was for the mental wellbeing of a mate who, on August 6, will front court on 10 domestic violence charges against former partner, Jessica Peris.
“This is about more than football,” Pearce said. “Obviously, we’d love to have Shaun back on the field with us, but really, that’s the last of our worries. When someone is struggling, you just want them to be happy. Full stop.
“Shaun’s obviously going through a tough time but so many of his best mates are here at the club, he feels safe here. So for us the only concern is getting Shaun happy again. Getting him in the right headspace.”
Asked about how his friend appeared during the weights session, Pearce said: “He looked happy, had a smile on his face, which was great. I’m sure everything is heading up from here.
“He had some time away but that’s not for me to comment on.
“He’s had good support around him and he’s a tough guy. He certainly looks like he’s getting better.”
Robinson also revealed how mental health experts had recommended Kenny-Dowall return to the “normality” of his NRL life.
“They said having Shaun in training, getting into a normal routine will help,’’ he said. “So we want to get him in here and moving again.
“Getting Shaun in and around his closest friends is important as well. They were happy to see him at weights yesterday afternoon and he will start some training today.
“He won’t do team stuff. We’ll just have him do some warm- up before he goes off to do some speed work.”
Asked about the mindset of his charge, who was last week admitted to a Wesley Mission hospital, Robinson continued: “He’s in a good frame of mind.
“I had a good chat with Shaun on Sunday and he’s much better. There has been a lot of stress involved for everybody and he’s a lot clearer on that.”
Robinson stressed Kenny-Dowall’s recovery was a “day- to- day” proposition involving both outside help and constant communication between the pair.
He added that a Round 22 return against Newcastle was possible, stressing he did not feel pressured to stand the player down until the allegations had been heard in court.
“There has been very clear discussions with the NRL on that,’’ Robinson said. “There has been very open dialogue between the NRL and Roosters and they will continue to monitor where we are going with Shaun.”
EASING BACK: Roosters winger Shaun Kenny- Dowall takes part in a training session in Sydney yesterday.