This Tim Mannah situation is, in my opinion, one of the more serious problems facing our game. A one club player, previous club captain, pillar of the eels community can be let go ‘mid-week’ without so much as a handshake let alone a gold watch. It’s wrong. In fact there’s a lot wrong with it …
Firstly, players and clubs are not rewarded for loyalty. Therefore, fans are not rewarded for their loyalty to long-standing players. There needs to be strong dispensation for one club, or at least long standing, players. Something that encourages a players love of the jersey, the club, the community.
Secondly, rugby league is tribal. I loved the Balmain era of roach, Elias, Pearce, sirinen etc - they were tigers through and through. They were offered better money elsewhere but they stayed loyal to Tigers. Fans stayed loyal to them. It meant something - there was a bond. Today, your hero can be your mortal enemy in the space of 7 days. Ridiculous in my opinion.
Thirdly, there is no importance placed on contracts by either party. This is a really poor example of modern life. Now, not only does your word mean nothing, but your legal responsibility means nothing also. This too is sad and is a poor reflection on modern society.
Lastly, the amount of wasted, splurged and thrown away money is criminal. Clubs are lucky to break even on an annual basis. The NRL and clubs are fighting for limited revenue streams yet it is apparently ok to piss millions away in poor decision making.
I love footy but the game i grew up loving is fast evolving into a corporate disaster. Tim Mannah is an Eel. Always has been and should be till his last day. He’ll be a Tiger by tomorrow I’m sure and I’ll wish him well and I’ll barrack for him but my heart won’t be quite in it. I wonder if his will?
I find myself agreeing with all you say in this post TS. Good post