Cronk chooses culture over cash

Will McCloy Roar Pro

By Will McCloy, Will McCloy is a Roar Pro

 , , ,

124 Have your say

Popular article! 4,150 reads

    Cooper Cronk re-signs for four years with Melbourne Storm (Image courtesy Fox Sports)

    Related coverage

    Cooper Cronk’s decision to call a press conference this morning to announce he will stay at the Storm for another four years says a few things.

    Firstly, it says Melbourne has one of the strongest club cultures in the NRL.

    You’d have to have been living under a rock to not know every little detail of the Storms salary cap dramas.

    It dragged the players, staff and anyone wearing a purple shirt though the mud. It created a stain on the clubs history that will endure long after the people involved have moved on.

    Whether any particular player knew or suspected that someone was cooking the books isn’t relevant anymore.

    What I and many others remember is the show of club solidarity in front of an intense media spotlight, while all they had worked for was stripped away.

    It galvanised the group, and whether another club would band together like that is a big question.

    Regardless, that’s what happened and players in the prime of their careers and earning potential primarily chose to tough it out. Cronk was one of them, and coming off contract, with big money deals from the Titans and Dragons on the table, he re-affirmed that decision.

    It’s a rare player that, at 28-years-of-age, doesn’t go for the cash in what could well be his last contract signing in the NRL. Rarer still if the club he has been with has had the troubles Melbourne has.

    Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re winning. If you like a bet, $5 is probably solid odds for the Storm to lift the silverware this year.

    Having a player like Cronk decide to take a pay cut to stay injects huge confidence into a team that is practically brimming with it already. No side has more reason to bury the past, and what better way to do that than by re-filling that trophy cabinet, and creating some new memories.

    Secondly, if there was really a deal on the table for Cronk at the Gold Coast, what are they doing up there? By all accounts, the Titans on the brink of financial ruin, and yet they reportedly tabled $3.2 million over four years.

    What is going on up there is yet to be fully decoded, but if I was Dave Taylor I’d be a little nervous with my decision to leave the Bunnies.

    While you have to respect Cronk’s decision to finally get everything out in the open, the drama created by todays press conference seems a bit ridiculous considering he was practically announcing nothing.

    A huge group of media gathering to hear that nothing has changed hasn’t happened since… well, Ricky Ponting a month ago.

    Why it is necessary to gather the nations sports news sources together to announce that you’ll be doing what you have always done seems overly dramatic.

    Make a statement, get your media manager to put in in an email to the media, and get on with the job at hand.

    Full respect then goes to Heritage round comeback kid Lote Tuqiri, who this morning at a much smaller press conference at Sydneys Concord Oval was asked ‘Do you think Braith Anasta would be good for the Tigers?’, to which he very calmly replied ‘Mate, I can’t speculate on speculation.’

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (124)

    • Roar Guru

      March 29th 2012 @ 10:58am
      SportsFanGC said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:58am | ! Report

      Great news for the Storm!

      • March 29th 2012 @ 12:28pm
        Will Sinclair said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

        Apparently when the Gold Coast put the contract in front of him for signing, he said “OK… now where’s the second contract with all the real figures?”

        It was all a big misunderstanding, so he’s staying with the Storm now.

        • March 29th 2012 @ 12:36pm
          LM said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

          And you would know how….?

          • March 29th 2012 @ 1:23pm
            Will Sinclair said | March 29th 2012 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

            That’s how they do business in Mexico mate.

            It’s free and easy down there.

            • March 30th 2012 @ 9:04am
              LM said | March 30th 2012 @ 9:04am | ! Report

              Hahahahah righto mate. so in other words, you actually don’t know.
              Thanks for clarifying that for all of us.

    • March 29th 2012 @ 11:07am
      Jaceman said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:07am | ! Report

      It was always going to be announced on the day of the first melbourne AFL game. With Cronk, Smith and Slater on big $$ now, Bellamy will be looking for more other club discards like Lowrie, Ryles, Chambers etc…

      • March 29th 2012 @ 11:35am
        Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        Those discards seem to be going alright….

        • March 29th 2012 @ 11:54am
          Jaceman said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:54am | ! Report

          Yes they are but may struggle without the big three..Certain Sydney newspapers ran a campaign against the Titans to push them out of the running. Makes you wonder how much the other Qlders Slater and Smith are worth if Cronk is worth $700k pa to live in melbourne.

          • March 29th 2012 @ 12:12pm
            Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

            I agree with your point….although i don’t think Cronk is on 700k.

            The rest of the squad a re pretty average and that’s how they fit the big 3 into the cap….bellamy does a great job at turning the discards into very good first grade footballers.

          • March 29th 2012 @ 12:17pm
            Crosscoder said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            Cronk is getting $700,000? How do you know that,when his deal was supposedly confidential.
            Cronk’s manager I suggest would not be relying on what Sydney newspapers thought,but done a little feasabilty check or some sort of due diligence.The sydney newspapers and managers are hardly in bed with each other.

            One thing for sure they(the Storm trio) are earning a lot less than that other “Queenslander” Folau who is a novice in the other code.

            About time the NRL and clubs got on the front foot re signings and promotion , in Melbourne.Good publicity is always welcome,even if it dare intrude on the start of the AFL season, but wait according to my assessment,that started last weekend,with all the accompanying unprecedented publicity.. .

            • March 29th 2012 @ 12:59pm
              Jaceman said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

              Do you know they play AFL in Melbourne as well as NRL ??

              • March 29th 2012 @ 7:13pm
                Crosscoder said | March 29th 2012 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

                Sorry I don’t get the point.

              • March 30th 2012 @ 7:54am
                Maximus said | March 30th 2012 @ 7:54am | ! Report


                I think he was suugesting the big AFL action starts this week in Melbourne rather than the Sydney “derby/whitwash” or whatever they call it…

              • March 30th 2012 @ 2:44pm
                Jeff McGinn. said | March 30th 2012 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

                They certainly d Jaceman and it is bloody well supported!!! . —

                Show the Melbourne sporting crowd what they are missing by not seeing this LEGENDARY team and the fans will come.

                Question 2 = Who are Slater, Cronk,Smith?. answer they are part of a TEAM and this is what brings continued success. and seperates winners fro Losers!

                Ooops, I forgot to give the ultimate praise to Craig Bellamy. lesser men would have run away two years ago.

    • March 29th 2012 @ 11:16am
      Paul said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:16am | ! Report

      I cant believe anybody actually thought the storm would let him leave, They have a swiss bank account just for this type of deal.

      • March 29th 2012 @ 11:42am
        Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:42am | ! Report

        Ian schubert checked all aspects before the signing.

        I’m not a storm fan but it certainly is annoying to see these type of ridiculous comments….it’s 2012 mate, move on.

        • March 29th 2012 @ 11:50am
          LM said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          Preach it, Renegade.. Paul mate, you have no clue what you’re talking about.

        • March 29th 2012 @ 11:51am
          Paul said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:51am | ! Report

          They rorted the cap for 4 years mate, No criminal charges have been laid and there was only 1 sacrafisial lamb, no ones moving on anytime soon, Seriously do you expect us to believe he gave away 1 million dollars to stay? And ontop of this they just got hoffman and chambers back.

          • March 29th 2012 @ 12:06pm
            LM said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

            It’s been taken care of! Jesus christ I cannot deal with league supporters who hang onto this. Storm took the necessary actions in 2010 and 2011 to FIX everything, to ensure that the club were under the cap in future years. Had there been reason to lay criminal charges, I can guarantee you they would have been. They would not have been excused from the law just because they were a sporting club, in fact being in the public eye I imagine they probably would have been under more scrutiny than most businesses.
            You are seriously deluded if you think that the club would do ANYTHING or sign ANYONE under circumstances that would compromise their current position after what they’ve been through.

            1 sacrificial lamb? Oh yeah, because losing Greg Inglis, Brett Finch, Jeff Lima, Aiden Tolman and Ryan Hoffman all in the same year isn’t a loss at all. It’s only just under our starting side.

            • March 29th 2012 @ 12:12pm
              Paul said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

              because losing Greg Inglis, Brett Finch, Jeff Lima, Aiden Tolman and Ryan Hoffman all in the same year isn’t a loss at all. It’s only just under our starting side.

              Shows you the level they were cheating by doesnt it? and really, news limted to reduce their losses needed to make the storm as strong as possible and that is why it has all gone away, It will make a great conspiracy movie one day.

              • March 29th 2012 @ 12:20pm
                Crosscoder said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

                Paul .It’s over,the Storm operate under the same guidelines as the other clubs.
                What happened in the past,is just that the past.If you keep looking over the shoulder,you will never see the sunlight ahead..

              • March 29th 2012 @ 12:51pm
                Paul said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                Crosscoder, i am over it and happy for the storm, I like watching them play and i didnt think about thier rorting when they belted my side. But, Whilst we can forgive we will never forget.

              • March 30th 2012 @ 3:35pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 30th 2012 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                Two chips on each shoulder when it comes to the Storm for some people, I see…

          • March 29th 2012 @ 12:10pm
            Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            As i said, Ian Schubert checked the deal.

            The admin people involved are no longer there and the club let go of a lot of talent.
            “Seriously do you expect us to believe he gave away 1 million dollars to stay?”….that’s a very subjective comment with no meat behind it.

            It’s innocent until proven guilty….not the other way around.

            I think we can all move on and just enjoy watching a brilliant rugby league side.

            • March 29th 2012 @ 1:17pm
              Jimbo Jones said | March 29th 2012 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

              Innocent until proven guilty is only in a court of law. You cant do anything about public opinion..

              • March 29th 2012 @ 2:16pm
                Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

                Righto Jimbo….so what’s your point??

              • March 30th 2012 @ 12:52pm
                mushi said | March 30th 2012 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

                his point is that opinions can be rightfully formed without adhering to the strict guidelines imposed on the criminal court.

              • March 30th 2012 @ 3:36pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 30th 2012 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                That doesn’t make them worthwhile opinions though.

            • March 30th 2012 @ 3:37pm
              Nathan of Perth said | March 30th 2012 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

              Titans may have offered $1m but with the Storm he knew he’d a) get Finals and b) no one is talking about breaking up the Storm and replacing them with another franchise!

              50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

        • March 29th 2012 @ 12:00pm
          Paul said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

          If schubert didn catch on to the last rort, do you really think he would find something wrong if there was something wrong in such a short time? I dont. btw im glad he stayed, i would hate to see the storm lose any of the big 3 but im not dilusional, what other team in the comp could go out and buy, or for that matter have 3 players of thier ilk under the cap?

          • March 29th 2012 @ 12:10pm
            LM said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            A club whose other key players were “has-beens” or are youngsters built up from Storm roots in the NYC comp and therefore aren’t being paid relatively as much?
            Just to name another club, you think having Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Jamie Soward, Jason Nightingale and Mark Gasnier in the same side would be cheap? Would love to know how they were under the cap, but god forbid anyone should question them as much as Storm is questioned.

            • March 29th 2012 @ 12:54pm
              Paul said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

              Those blokes you mention are not of the same ilk. Morris was signed as a winger, 300k max ditto Nightingale 200k, Boyd followed bennet, 350k, Gasnier was supposedly only on a small amount and retired b4 the big money kicked in.

              • March 29th 2012 @ 12:59pm
                LM said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

                But if we’re talking about the fact that they are all representative players, that would definitely add to their price tag. In Storm’s case there’s only Coop, Billy and Cam – and Duff and Nielsen who have only just broken into reps sides, playing just a couple of games each.

        • March 30th 2012 @ 2:45pm
          Jeff McGinn. said | March 30th 2012 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

          Me too.. thanks renegade. The Salary cap is now officially a farcical remnant of a good idea. Clubs are offering huge money to tempt the best players whilst maintaining an excellent playing group. IT cannot be achieved within a fair salary cap and I don’t care who is doing it!..

          Review third party agreements and bring them into a clubs salary cap. this current salary cap is a complete and utter farce!.

    • March 29th 2012 @ 11:20am
      baller said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:20am | ! Report

      salary cap anyone lol

      • March 29th 2012 @ 11:50am
        LM said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        Did you even listen to the media conference?
        Everything went through the NRL, the roster nor the salary cap will be compromised.


        • March 29th 2012 @ 11:55am
          Paul said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:55am | ! Report

          lol, they got away with for 4 years before, i doubt schuberts accounting skills have improved that much.

          • March 29th 2012 @ 12:13pm
            LM said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

            lol then why hasn’t he been sacked

            it’s in the past people, I will happily eat my words if it happens again, but I have every faith in the club that they will never put themselves in the same position they were in in 2010. they dodgy people are out, the new admin have done an incredible job in turning the club around, and if you choose to remain bitter about something that was happening 2-6 years ago then that’s up to you. but it’s not relevant anymore.

            • March 29th 2012 @ 12:58pm
              Paul said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

              Did you read Planko’s joke? We can forgive but we cannot forget.

              • March 30th 2012 @ 9:06am
                LM said | March 30th 2012 @ 9:06am | ! Report

                Funny, people seem to have forgotten about the Bulldogs?

        • March 29th 2012 @ 11:57am
          Jaceman said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:57am | ! Report

          Right and when people said the Storm could afford 9 internationals plus 2 extra 2 SOO players in 2009, the reply was the contracts were backloaded and its all OK. Amazingly this turned out not to be the case. They have less stars now but 3 players seem to have half the salary cap – Ok it will increase but not by much…

        • March 29th 2012 @ 12:19pm
          PLANKO said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

          LM Did you hear about the joke about the olde guy in Greece ?

          He built the Church , the commnunity hall. Every sat he did community work for forty years …. He was caught giving it to one goat. On his grave he was known as the Goat F**ker.

          Manly is the Silvertails …. Melbourne will always be known the The Cap Cheaters !!!

    • March 29th 2012 @ 11:26am
      eagleJack said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:26am | ! Report

      As a Manly fan even Im glad he is staying at the Storm. The combination he has with Smith and Slater is great viewing for a fan of rugby league. The most disappointed bloke with this news today could well be Ricky Stuart who was probably hoping that breaking up the “big 3” would reap benefits for NSW at Origin time in future years.

      • March 30th 2012 @ 2:58pm
        Jeff McGinn. said | March 30th 2012 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

        Thanks Eaglejack.. those are my feelings to Manly re: their young half back duo. Others would love the opportunity to have them in their teams, but really why should they be able to buy ready made young stars. — Hope to see you guys in this years final, we have a score to settle.. lol ( Message to anti Meld Trolls — No- I don’t need to be reminded what that score was )

    • March 29th 2012 @ 11:33am
      I'mastormtrooper2 said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:33am | ! Report

      A great decision for Coop’s,. the club, the players and the fans, we’re long past worrying what the other half think … Bring on the weekend !!!

    , , ,