Members letter from Pascoe to WT members
A Message from the CEO,
Okay, let’s great straight to the point. It is frustrating, and a disappointing outcome, to have Aaron and James’ management not communicate to the club as per the deadline on Friday. But it’s now done and now we as a club and community need to move forward.
As Members and fans, it’s important to understand that this club has afforded these players and their management every opportunity to sign with the club. As you’re all aware we have been working with their management for a number of months now to attempt to secure their future here at Wests Tigers. We identified both players as priorities to re-sign and acted accordingly, offering long-term contracts for both.
From the club’s perspective, we have purposely chosen not to comment publicly on these negotiations due to our respect for the process, we couldn’t comment publicly until we had some certainty around the playing futures of Aaron and James.
Unfortunately, as negotiations with their manager dragged on we felt we had to put a deadline in place to get some certainty, not just for us, but also the players, our Members, Corporate Partners and fans.
That led us to meeting with their manager on Tuesday and imposing a deadline for 5pm Friday to get an answer on whether our current contract offers would be accepted. Unfortunately, this deadline passed without an answer and as a result we took the current contract offers off the table.
The club was incredibly disappointed to have to take this cause of action but the club always comes first and as mentioned above we needed clarity around our playing group for 2018 and beyond.
When I spoke on Friday about the club being in an exciting position, maybe the most exciting position within its 17 year history (bar of course the glory of 2005) it was not said with any disrespect to the players departing, it was said with a view to the future. In my role, I can’t afford to dwell on the negatives, or sit idle and ponder what may have been. Members and fans expect action, not sorrow and moping around. We live and operate in a really competitive environment and I need to ensure that we gain every competitive advantage over 15 other clubs wherever possible. So yes, I have flipped the negative of losing Aaron and James into a positive as I automatically look for the next path out and up and that’s why it’s exciting.
I often hear and read “why don’t Wests Tigers acquire more players”, the simple reality is if there is no room left in the salary cap a club cannot purchase players. This club has suffered with poor contracts for sometime, these are not the fault of the players however it has meant we have been operating under salary cap pressures. Wests Tigers now head into the market with more than 200 players off contract for next season, 100% of our cap set to be playing here, and a war chest that would be the envy of our competitors is exciting for this organisation. It must also be known that the processes we have implemented over the last two year ensures this club will never be in the same challenging contract position again.
With this clarity around playing contracts we are now in a position to move forward. We can now chase the best talent in the game. We’re already aggressive in the player market and will be building a great 30 player squad for 2018 and beyond.
You will see plenty of names being linked to this club over the coming weeks and months. As always nothing is confirmed until the club announces it and I ask for your patience during this time.
We’ve already made some positive moves in this area for 2018 and beyond with the likes of Luke Brooks, David Nofoaluma and Michael Chee Kam recently committing to the club. We’ve also added Chris McQueen to our roster and look forward to having him join us for the pre-season.
This player movement is a part of the business of sport. We operate in a professional environment where players move between clubs and its up to us at Wests Tigers to make sure we’re a part of that movement and are building a club that will have sustainable long-term success.
As I’m sure you’re all aware there have been plenty of media reports that haven’t painted this club in the best light. I ask that you read between the lines, question everything you see and hear, and if needed address your concerns with the club directly. We’ve found that quite often only half a story is reported, which is disappointing, but unfortunately something we’ve become accustomed to. We are working hard to get our side of every story out there and will communicate directly with you whenever the time is right.
We’ve also copped some flak recently around our promotion of the successes within the business, primarily around our ever growing record Membership and high crowd numbers last season. The successes in the commercial side of our business, or the ‘froth and bubble’ as it’s been called by one reporter, is central to our long-term success and allows us to invest back into the Football Department to acquire experienced coaches (like Ivan Cleary) and provide the infrastructure needed to be successful on the field. Dismissing these achievements as “froth and bubbles” is naïve and shows that people external to this organisation do not understand the fundamental financial principals behind administrating professional sporting business. We’ll continue to promote all our successes, and hope that you’ll celebrate them with us.
I’d also like to address some of the speculation about Joe Wehbe’s position with the club. Earlier this year Joe was brought into the club after being recommended by a couple of players who have had personal dealings with Joe. The club worked hard to accommodate the requirements of Joe however it was Joe in the end who felt that the way he wanted to operate would conflict with the Football Department’s current operations. The club still encourages those players who have dealings with Joe to continue those relationships.
Now we must move along to today’s game. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at ANZ Stadium for our clash with the Bulldogs. This is a huge game in the context of our season and I can assure you the team is ready to go. We have complete confidence that Ivan Cleary and his coaching staff will prepare this team to be ready to face anything the Bulldogs throw at them.
Your support provides a massive boost to the team so I call on you to be there today and be a part of what will be a great day as we commemorate the sacrifices of our servicemen and servicewomen for ANZAC Round.
Wests Tigers CEO
I love the slam dunk on Jason Hooper or Pooper as he is now affectionally known. However, to call Pooper a reporter or journalist is a stretch. They guy can’t write to save his life. He is nothing more than a gossip columnist. Perhaps another nickname for him would be Ros Reines.
The statement reads a bit unprofessional, seems very casual with his wording in places. But I think that’s okay at times like this. Get down to the punters level.
Given the constant attacks on management by the media, I have no issue with them reacting like this.
Also remember it was a communication to members, not a press release.
I dont think he said anything we had not already figured out. But it is nice to see some official comment from the club about all the crap being floated in the media.
Next week it will be some other club in crisis schmuck headline, and Wests can get on with the rest of this season, and building whatever future we can
That statement was aimed at you diehards who are in revolution mood. He wants bums on seats out there today so that the team can continue on with encouragement, it effects sponsors, TV funding etc… The guy deserves a break the situation was not of his making. I will still go with group at club that all helps in a minute way.
Good statement and along with how Ivan is handling the current situation, its what we need to hear from the CEO. As fans we need to hang in there and this will only improve. Will be heading to Sydney for my annual trip to Liechhardt later in the year. Hooper and his vermin mates will move onto another story in the next week or so.