Memo Scott Penn: celebrate, then get on with the jobs at hand

David Lord Columnist

37 Have your say

    Chairman Scott Penn has a lot of house-cleaning to do at the Manly Sea Eagles, with his leadership under the microscope. There are five pressing problems Penn must address far sooner than later.

    * Brett Stewart’s one-way feud with NRL boss David Gallop must end this week. It’s clouding the magnificent premiership win over the Warriors.

    * Disclose exactly what Brett and older brother Glenn said to a startled Gallop on the grand final podium during the after-match presentations.

    * Explain why Glenn said in an after-match interview the feud with Gallop was over and it’s time to move on, which is clearly not the case.

    * Nail down coach Des Hasler to at least a three-year extension to his contract that runs out at the end of next season.

    * And find out how exciting 19-year-old centre-winger Will Hopoate, over the moon with his first premiership ring, has slipped through the Manly net to sign with Parramatta for his return from a two-year Mormon mission in Brisbane.

    What an unholy mess to severely test Penn’s skills at mending fences..

    The Brett Stewart feud with Gallop has been going on in stops and starts for 31 months and came to a head on Sunday night when Stewart allegedly demanded an apology from Gallop for his four-match suspension back in March 2009 for bringing the game into disrepute by being drunk at Manly’s pre-season launch.

    But that’s not exactly the chronological way the suspension came about.

    March 4, 2009 – was the pre-season party where Stewart was under the weather and team-mate Anthony Watmough was assaulted by a sponsor for allegedly making inappropriate remarks to the sponsor’s daughter.

    March 9, 2009 – the NRL withdrew Stewart from a promotional television commercial after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl following the pre-season party.

    March 11, 2009 – the NRL imposed a four-match suspension on Stewart for his pre-season party behaviour, bringing the game into disrepute, after Manly refused to take any action. But nothing happened to Watmough.

    The problem with that sequence is the suspension came after the assault charge, not the pre-season party. Stewart was entitled to the innocent until proved guilty fact, but it didn’t appear that way.

    A year later, Wests-Tiger’s Benji Marshall was charged with assault after an altercation at a late night fast food outlet. But the NRL didn’t do anything.

    Subsequently, both Stewart and Marshall were found not guilty, although Stewart had to wait an agonising 19 months before he was cleared. That was grossly unfair on him.

    The court system should be better organised.

    That’s where we sit, leaving chairman Penn with no alternative but to order Brett Stewart to meet with David Gallop one-on-one behind closed doors to bury the long-standing hatchet.

    While the other four messes are important to resolve, the Stewart-Gallop impasse is paramount.

    The clock is ticking Scott Penn.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (37)

    • October 4th 2011 @ 7:27am
      Amused said | October 4th 2011 @ 7:27am | ! Report

      Yes yes, the Penn family, snap to it, do all of the things David has suggested. /rolls eyes

      David, it’s only a few days after their gf win, have a bex and a lie down then perhaps come back in a week with some other sensationalist stuff then.

    • October 4th 2011 @ 9:24am
      Jimbo said | October 4th 2011 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      Will Hopoate didn’t ‘slip through the Manly net’, he was apparently offered upwards of $500k/year to sign with Parramatta, along with his father potentially getting a job on the coaching staff. I don’t know if you have heard, but the NRL does have a salary cap, and Manly most likely simply couldn’t match the offer.

      • October 4th 2011 @ 5:03pm
        Meesta Cool said | October 4th 2011 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

        I am never ever going to believe a Mormon who is trying to covert me on my doorstep, their words are ‘NOT GOSPEL”..

        Falou sold out to AFL and now Hoppa tells Manly he is going to stay with the club he loves (Whilst his agent signs him to the Eels).

        Not much thought to his Manly ‘Flock’ hey?.

    • October 4th 2011 @ 9:51am
      League_Coach101 said | October 4th 2011 @ 9:51am | ! Report

      Clearly Watmough should have faced discipinary action too. However Watmough wasn’t the face of the NRL.

      Two words Brett – “I’m sorry for behaving inappropriately during a season launch where I was face of the NRL,”

      Okay maybe more than two words but you catch my gist.

      • October 4th 2011 @ 2:00pm
        Marcus said | October 4th 2011 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

        Your counting is as good as your advice LC.

        • October 4th 2011 @ 3:27pm
          League_Coach101 said | October 4th 2011 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

          I know – I’m thinking of taking a mentoring role at Manly next year…

          • October 4th 2011 @ 4:59pm
            Marcus said | October 4th 2011 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

            You? Thinking? Unlikely.

    • October 4th 2011 @ 9:52am
      Chris said | October 4th 2011 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      “the pre-season party where Stewart was under the weather” – geez David, please don’t try to paper over Stewart’s behaviour by describing it in such mild terms. You don’t get suspended for four weeks for being a bit under the weather.

      And while Hasler will be lauded for winning two premierships in five years, he has fostered a culture at manly where the Stewarts have been allowed (encouraged?) to continue their appallingly disrespectful behaviour towards the NRL’s CEO. In my view the culture of a club is as important as straight results. If only more clubs (of all codes) followed the Sydney Swans “no d—heads” policy when recruiting…

      • October 4th 2011 @ 1:59pm
        Marcus said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

        “You don’t get suspended for four weeks for being a bit under the weather.”

        If you are Brett Stewart apparently you do Chris.

    • October 4th 2011 @ 10:31am
      voodoo people said | October 4th 2011 @ 10:31am | ! Report

      Manly have bigger issues to worry about. Heres my list:

      1 low attendences and memberships
      2 worst stadium in the NRL
      3 lack of decent sponsorship deals
      4 club image and fan base outside of the North Shore very weak
      5 secure Des Hasler and juniors

      • Roar Guru

        October 4th 2011 @ 12:26pm
        Mark Young said | October 4th 2011 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        You are right mate, the bigger issues for the club are those that you have lsited.

        They just haven’t worked strongly to build their apperal across Sydney. They have phenomenal support on the Northern Beaches, but much much less outside. As opposed to clubs like the Bulldogs, Tigers and Dragons which have local support but also vast swathes of fans from other areas.

        This would of course be fine if they had their own self contained government looking after them and more specifically, their stadium. But they don’t.

      • October 4th 2011 @ 9:15pm
        Beowulf said | October 4th 2011 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

        They have no support on the north shore – I think you mean the peninsular….

        • October 4th 2011 @ 9:32pm
          p.Tah said | October 4th 2011 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

          Beowulf, I travelled through the north shore on the way to the Grandfinal on the weekend. There were a lot of Manly supporters on the buses. On Monday I was at the Woy Woy Maccas and in front of the sign ‘proud sponsors of the Central Coast Bears’ was a guy sitting wearing a Manly jersey. It made me laugh 🙂
          In saying that I have seen quite a lot of central coast bears jerseys/tshirts etc. I even saw a guy wearing a CC bears tshirts in Fairfield last week! Good luck, keep up the good work.

    • October 4th 2011 @ 10:33am
      Nate Hornblower said | October 4th 2011 @ 10:33am | ! Report

      The haters are going to hate, but they only hate because Manly is great

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