ONLY A CLOWN WOULD LET THIS CONTRACT CIRCUS CONTINUE
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”.