The Courier-Mail

ONLY A CLOWN WOULD LET THIS CONTRACT CIRCUS CONTINUE

- PAUL CRAWLEY IN SYDNEY

The two clubs at the centre of the Daly Cherry-Evans tug-ofwar yesterday joined forces in declaring the game should not let this “ludicrous” situation ever happen again.

After eight months of ongoing speculatio­n, DCE has 11 days to make his final decision on if he will stay at Manly next year or honour the deal he signed with Gold Coast.

The Round-13 contract “cooling off” period expires at 5.30pm on June 10.

NRL clubs have been sweating on the deadline for months, which allows all players – including Kieran Foran, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke, Beau Scott and Trent Merrin – the opportunit­y to backflip on agreements that in many cases were signed months ago.

While not blaming Cherry-Evans for the circus, Titans coach Neil Henry agreed the “cooling off” period was an embarrassm­ent to the game.

“It is ludicrous how it is at the moment,” Henry said.

“It is not a good look for the game.

“It puts unnecessar­y pressure on clubs and players and it fuels media speculatio­n about contracts that have been signed and whether they are going to be honoured.

“But there is an opportunit­y for a club or another club to make a play for a player because this rule is in place.

Manly coach Geoff Toovey agreed.

“You can’t do much about it,’’ Toovey said.

“There has to be a balance about being fair and equitable for the talent but also being fair and equitable to the clubs.

“At the moment I just don’t think that balance is right.”

The problem has existed as far back as 2008 when Luke Lewis reneged on a deal to join South Sydney from Penrith.

In April, NRL boss Dave Smith said the rule would be revised and it is understood the NRL’s new head of game strat- egy Shane Richardson is working on a new system but that may only be an interim alternativ­e.

The new model will also have to work in conjunctio­n with a player draft that is expected to be introduced in 2017 along with the new TV deal.

While Cherry-Evans has stated on several occasions he has no plans to backflip on the Titans, only last week he qualified himself with a get-out clause, saying there was no change “at the moment”.

 ??  ?? SILLY SEASON: Daly CherryEvan­s has 11 days to decide.
SILLY SEASON: Daly CherryEvan­s has 11 days to decide.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia