Inglis has nobody to blame but himself
Greg Inglis is doing himself no favours. He is either naïve and stupid, incredibly greedy and ill advised, or both. History will not be kind to him.
The Melbourne Storm made him who he is, bent over backwards to accommodate him (much to their own detriment), and stood by him in his hour of need.
The same way that anybody would expect their club to stand by their golden child.
Furthermore, when the Storm salary cap scandal broke, they were derided by all and sundry for allowing a great number of fringe (and some not so fringe) players to leave to ensure they held on to “the Big Four”, the jewels in the crown. According to CEO Ron Gauci, this is something that the club achieved.
Now given all this, what would make you want to leave that environment? It is quite admirable – nay remarkable – that the club released him at all. They could have just as easily turned around and said, “Why don’t you use some of your $600k salary to fly her back down to Melbourne for the weekends?” The club however did the admirable thing and released him. Love conquers all…
However, in the Storm’s claim that they were under the cap for 2011, the implication is that his $120k legal bill was covered. While the Storm paid the bill, the money is attached to Inglis as a salary cap liability. It is a payment in kind, a substitution of a good or service for your regular salary. The Storm effectively gave Inglis a $120k pay rise for 2011.
Inglis (and his advisors) need to be aware of the fact that if they walk away from the deal they have at the Storm, they simply can’t get the same kind of deal elsewhere. After all, it was these kinds of deals that got the Storm into trouble in the first place! If you want out, then there is a $120k salary cap liability going to follow you.
As club didn’t choose to let him go, and that he put in a request to be released, the Storm are right to dig their heels in. Furthermore, no club in this situation should be liable under the salary cap. Players need to learn that they are responsible for their own actions, both on and off the field, financially and otherwise.
For Anthony Mundine to suggest that “a brother has been dudded” is frankly disgusting. Inglis has been afforded the best legal representation money can buy, given lucrative long term contracts and had external third party deals sourced for him. Given that it was he who requested his release, who has really been dudded in all of this?
He has walked away from the club that found him, turned him into one of the game’s superstars, and stood by him in his hour of need. He has reneged on a lucrative deal with the Broncos, when it was a “more than money” decision to move there in the first place.
Inglis has been far from dudded, it is he who has been doing the dudding.
Life will be very different for Inglis away from the relative anonymity that he enjoyed in Melbourne, and perhaps only now are we are getting a glimpse of the real Greg Inglis.
Maybe he is more trouble than he is worth.