$400k not in Burgess ball park
AS questions are being asked about Sam Burgess’s contract with South Sydney, Wests Tigers officials have revealed how their approach to the England international was blown out of the water by his exorbitant asking price.
Gareth Ellis had talked up Burgess, which prompted coach Tim Sheens and recruitment officer Warren McDonnell to meet with the young star.
McDonnell said the Tigers never even got to tabling an offer because of Burgess’s whopping price tag.
Had Burgess been offered up for $262,000 a season - his reported average salary over his four-year term with Souths - McDonnell would have “signed him in a heartbeat”.
“He wasn’t the one that got away because we couldn’t afford him,” McDonnell said.
"Sam came down with two others, including Chris Feather and a young halfback whose name I can’t remember, and Tim and I showed them around the gym.
“We were interested in him, but after speaking with his management we knew we weren’t even going to get close. Bradford wanted plenty, they were talking some pie-in-the-sky figure like $400,000 just to release him from his contract. Then his manager was asking for plenty, something like $400,000-plus.”
Even the high-flying Roosters were put off by the asking price for Burgess.
According to club sources, Bradford chairman Peter Hood boasted the near $400,00 release fee wouldn’t be lowered because “it would be a record for us”.
Roosters recruitment officer Peter O’Sullivan said: “We would’ve loved to have signed him, but the transfer fee that they (Roosters) had to pay to Bradford and all that sort of stuff, it just made it unviable financially.”
Souths won the race for Burgess, who was wooed by Hollywood heavyweight and Souths owner Russell Crowe during his time filming Robin Hood.
Rabbitohs supremo Shane Richardson denied any knowledge of a $400,000 asking price and said “Sam’s very happy with his deal and the club is very happy”.
“We signed Sam Burgess before he played in the Four Nations last year, just as we signed Dave Taylor when he was in reserve grade, so I would like to think we were smart getting these players early,” Richardson said.
“If there’s talk of $400,000 (asking price) I don’t know about it. He’s happy with his deal, we’re happy and Russell had a big influence (in signing him).”
Documents lodged with the immigration department outlined the finer details of Burgess’s deal, but Richardson said those figures published this week were wrong and the actual contract was lodged with the NRL in February. Under NRL rules, the money paid to Bradford does not count towards Souths’ salary cap.
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So apparently, if South Sydney signed Burgess for the figure that they claim to have, the Tigers would have snavelled him up without question beforehand… Seems very very fishy, especially with the open wallet Russell Crowe at the helm.
Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if a deal was done under the table here, Ian Schubert couldnt find a pen in a bic factory so how would he every uncover a dealing in England?
Yossarian last edited by
The Souths recruitment drive has always had a bad smell about it. Who seriously believes they can have so many high class forwards on their books? Burgess, Crocker, Asotasi, Luke, Taylor and then throw in established top graders like Geddes, Stuart. The whole thing is a farce. Holmes a’Court pretty much gave the game away when he said they all sat around discussion whether to cheat the cap. Well Holmes a’Court is gone (you wouldn’t think a businessman of his note would want to be involved in something that could get him into trouble with financial regulators) and soon after Rusty assembled his super team.
$250,000 a year for Burgess? They’re having a laugh…