Manly hold onto Lyon for now at least

By Ben Horne,


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    Manly are set to open negotiations with captain Jamie Lyon for 2014 and beyond after blocking a bid by Gold Coast on Friday to poach him for the coming NRL season.

    The Sea Eagles confirmed they were approached with an offer by the Titans and Lyon’s manager, but deny their star centre actually asked for a release from the final year of his contract.

    Lyon issued a statement claiming the negotiations for an immediate move were happening without his knowledge, pledging his full commitment to Manly for this year.

    Lyon’s future beyond this year is up in the air, but he’s confident the speculation would not affect the team.

    “Unbeknown to me, the Sea Eagles, then my manager received an unexpected offer for me to join the Gold Coast team immediately,” Lyon said in a Manly statement.

    “My loyalty and commitment to Manly remains uncompromised and I look forward to season 2013 with the Sea Eagles.”

    Sea Eagles general manager of football Steve Gigg said Lyon was contracted until the end of the season and would not be seeking an early release.

    Gigg said the Gold Coast were “testing the waters” with their approach and were told in no uncertain terms that Lyon was off limits for 2013.

    He said reports that Lyon had asked for a release were “completely incorrect”.

    Gigg revealed the Sea Eagles would “commence negotiations soon” with their skipper to extend his current deal.

    It’s understood Manly’s salary cap is tight and Lyon’s departure would obviously free a lot of money.

    But Lyon is arguably the premier centre in the game and Manly have made it clear they will do everything possible to keep the former NSW and Test representative at Brookvale.

    Gold Coast earlier this week missed out on the signature of Michael Jennings, who linked with the Sydney Roosters.

    Titans chief executive David May made it clear last week his club was in negotiations with other star centres should the Jennings deal fall through.

    Gold Coast reportedly offered Lyon a four-year deal and it’s clear the club has plenty of money to spend on a quality centre.

    News Limited reported on Friday that Lyon had agreed to a “deal in principle” with Gold Coast and was meeting with Sea Eagles management to ask for a release from the final year of his NRL contract.

    Lyon walked out on Parramatta midway through 2004 before moving to the English Super League for two seasons.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • January 19th 2013 @ 5:56am
      andy said | January 19th 2013 @ 5:56am | ! Report

      Well it looks like the Titans will have to look elsewhere for an immediate high quality center for 2013. Either that or buy the player for 2014 onwards.

    • January 19th 2013 @ 7:20am
      Robert said | January 19th 2013 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      This is an interesting case.All the social media reports and Phil Rothfield story had Lyon signed sealed and delivered to the Coast,yet the player himself knew nothing about it(allegedly)If he had gone,it would prove once and for all contracts mean nothing.And the Coast say they have plenty of money up their sleeve.If you look at their purchases over the last couple of years,you’ll find that not many of them have not played Origin.This is on top of the fact that the club was very close to closing doors this time last year.Prince’s contract must of been astronomical,and they are still paying for some of it.Ian Schubert,come on down

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

    • January 19th 2013 @ 9:12am
      Pot Stirrer said | January 19th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

      I really hate this. Lyon is contracted to the eagles for this season. The titans should not be allowed to try an entice him to break his contract. I dont know anything can be done about it but imo while ever your under contract you should not be allowed to negotiate with a competitor. The final year of a players contract should end the day after the grand final and then they can be free to negotiate. Clubs could still lodge an interest with the players manager but that should be it. That gives players 3 months to weigh up the offers.
      I think the way Maloney played for the warriors last year was becuase he was already planning his move to the roosters, whos fans are now wondering how good a signing he will be after last season.

    • January 19th 2013 @ 9:16am
      Meesta Cool said | January 19th 2013 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      I fail to see how several clubs that are ‘buying up bigtime’ are keeping within their salary caps. To tempt players to your club, yoiu need to offer them MUCH more than they are already earning and offer all sorts of ‘incentives’. yup how ARE they doing it?.

    • January 19th 2013 @ 10:15am
      Chui said | January 19th 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      Wow, Rothfield writing something false about Manly – who’d a thunk it?

      Today’s Herald has Lyon’s side of the story. Somewhat different.

      • January 21st 2013 @ 5:30pm
        Dave said | January 21st 2013 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

        Typical garbage from Rothfield. Never one for the truth. Could someone tell me how many ‘positive’ stories he ran on Cronulla and Canterbury last year and continually put crap on Manly. I’d be pissed too if my team had never won a comp ( oh, except the Amco Cup. Haha). Just have a look at their trophy cabinet and you can understand why he carries on like he’s got half the sand from Cronulla beach still in his crack all the time. I’m willing to overlook all of this because I do feel sorry for him and his never ending nightmare of being a sharks supporter. But what is his connection to Canterbury? Did Greenberg get to you? Why were The dogs in just about every ad for the NRL in the tele? Even after the end of season fracas that only Canterbury can get away with they promoted ‘the biter’ on the back page with a big ad for Jaycar. Yes the company that has an imbecile for a CEO. If I was David Perry I would seek out an explanation from the NRL because its meant to be promoting ALL teams from the Sydney area. Not just the ones that have certain journalists on their books. Rothfield is now blaming Perry for his predicament. Only ads to his already crumbling lack of credibility.

    • January 19th 2013 @ 10:19am
      Bearfax said | January 19th 2013 @ 10:19am | ! Report

      There maybe behind the scenes issues here that are suspected but not confirmed.

      1) Manly and Parramatta salary cap situation tight. Gold Coast not so.
      2) Manly have apparently made a 2 year offer to Lyon but he wants longer and I think he would prefer to stay at Manly because he is building house locally.
      3) Lyons parent live near Gold Coast
      4) Stuart’s involvement at Parramatta has changed policy regarding recruitment. They dont want to pay exorbitant monies for players now.
      5) Original Will Hopoate deal included Jamil (his bother) and John (his father) also moving there. John apparently is no longer at Parramatta since Stuart took over and is now assistant coach of Manly’s SG Ball side where his third son may likely play this year. Jamil was released for reasons that seem minor. If they wanted him they would have sought counselling etc. As it is he left and is quickly snapped up by Manly. Will Hopoate is yet to play a game with Parra and to start there in 2014. Locks up a lot of money on a yet unproven player.
      6) Both Lyon and Will Hopoate are both best suited to play centre. Lyon wants to decent contract to take him to retirement and Gold Coast are offering a motza. Its suspect Will wants to go back to Manly because family are there and he will require decent contract to cover loss of bigger contract agreed to at Parra.
      7) Connect the dots.

      Maybe just conjecture but interesting scenario.

      • January 20th 2013 @ 11:12am
        Pot Stirrer said | January 20th 2013 @ 11:12am | ! Report

        I love a conspiracy theory.