Cleary says no to Penrith move

By Matt Encarnacion, Matt Encarnacion is a Roar Guru

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22 Have your say

    Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has ended speculation about a move to Penrith by confirming he would see out the remainder of his contract at the NRL club.

    In a prepared two-minute statement, Cleary said he was not aware that Penrith would discuss their coaching future at a recent meeting with Panthers chairman Dave O’Neill.

    He said no offer had been made to come back to his former club, and that he immediately informed Tigers bosses about the Panthers’ approach.

    “I advised the Panthers of my ongoing contract status with the Wests Tigers,” Cleary said ahead of his team’s crucial NRL clash with Canberra on Saturday.

    “I subsequently advised the chair and CEO of the Wests Tigers of the discussions I’d had with the Panthers.”

    Cleary, who refused to take further questions on the matter, said he was surprised by Penrith’s decision to fire Anthony Griffin earlier this week.

    Then he allayed any concerns about serving the final two years of his current deal.

    “I am enjoying my contribution at this club. The club’s growing nicely. Everyone associated with this club should be proud of the direction it’s heading in,” he said.

    “I respect all the people and supporters involved with this club and I intend to honour this contract.”

    Cleary’s comments means the Panthers will be forced to look elsewhere to fill their coaching vacancy next season.

    Penrith chief executive Brian Fletcher this week said the club would be willing to wait two years before asking Cleary to return and unite with son Nathan.

    The NSW playmaker has one more year to serve on his deal at the Panthers but is able to field offers at the end of this season, including a possible move to the Tigers.

    Cleary reiterated his desire to work with Nathan at some stage during their careers.

    “It is common knowledge that my son Nathan and I have acknowledged our desire to work together at some time. That remains the case,” he said.

    “Today I’m absolutely focused on our match with the Canberra Raiders and I’m happy to take questions around that game.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • Roar Guru

      August 11th 2018 @ 11:30am
      Renegade said | August 11th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report


    • August 11th 2018 @ 11:47am
      no one in particular said | August 11th 2018 @ 11:47am | ! Report

      It took 4 days

    • Roar Rookie

      August 11th 2018 @ 11:52am
      Brendan Jones said | August 11th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

      this was a pointless exercise and nothing more than a media grab by the Panthers to cover up the fact that only idiots would sack a coach with a team fifth on the ladder with only four games remaining before the finals. Phil Gould is so out of touch he still thinks its the 1980’s or 90’s. When possibly not as loyalty meant something back in those days that you’ve would of waited until the season end before giving a coach the boot.

      when can the game get rid of the real problem, Gus Gould?

      • Roar Guru

        August 11th 2018 @ 12:12pm
        Andrew Jackson said | August 11th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

        Can’t see how that is right? Penrith came out and continually denied they had offered Cleary a contract. Gus said they met with him but that was all. It was the media who said a contract was offered.

        • Roar Guru

          August 11th 2018 @ 12:20pm
          Renegade said | August 11th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          Did you miss Gouldโ€™s presser on Tuesday? And the footy show on Thursday?

          • Roar Guru

            August 11th 2018 @ 12:23pm
            Andrew Jackson said | August 11th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

            The impression I got was that they wanted to work with him in the future but not before his contract ran out.

    • Roar Guru

      August 11th 2018 @ 11:53am said | August 11th 2018 @ 11:53am | ! Report

      Wow, what about the Press conference!
      Ivan has gone from Mr. Cool to having to read a few sentences in a quivering voice.
      If his players are under that much pressure they will get hammered.
      Ivan did not answer questions, but the obvious answer that everyone wants to know is “why in the hell did it take you 5 days to talk?”
      This innuendo could have been nipped in the bub last Monday.

      • Roar Guru

        August 11th 2018 @ 11:57am
        Andrew Jackson said | August 11th 2018 @ 11:57am | ! Report

        The fact he read off a paper was a bit odd… who knows at this point. Also said he intends to stay rather than he will. Interesting to see how the Tigers go on Sunday.

      • August 11th 2018 @ 12:11pm
        Pilferer said | August 11th 2018 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

        Maybe to irritate Phil Gould

      • Roar Rookie

        August 11th 2018 @ 4:54pm
        steveng said | August 11th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

        Scott, Ivan Cleary must have looked all his options, he probably wanted to coach his son and the deal at the Panthers must have been huge but, this is very peculiar as Gould and the Panthers sacked him in 2015 under similar circumstances as Griffin, as a retrospective thing, I wouldn’t of ever considered and/or trusted to come back to that rabble at the Panthers again, especially with Gould and that rabble board in charge. The reason why he must have read his statement is that he was probably advised to use the best terminology so that he doesn’t conflict with the West/Tigers and their fans, even though, he was going to do a backflip on them lol business and loyalty are two different things and in todays NRL contract commitments are a thing of ‘never the twain shall meet’ lol

        • August 11th 2018 @ 6:10pm
          Jacko said | August 11th 2018 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

          It works both ways Steve……Why would anyone hire Cleary when he is happy to reneg on any contract he signs…He did it to the Warriors and if he had done…or does….it again he will gain a very bad reputation as someone who only values contracts as leverage

      • Roar Rookie

        August 12th 2018 @ 8:22am
        Don said | August 12th 2018 @ 8:22am | ! Report

        Very big chance that after Ivan told the Tigers of the Penrith approach, they spent a few days renegotiating the final 2 years of his contract and maybe even spoke about ways to clear space to bring Nathan over.

    • August 11th 2018 @ 12:17pm
      Jade Ed said | August 11th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

      All the talk about players bringing the game into disrepute and the game itself projects an image that all parents would not want their children to aspire to. I certainly don’t want my son to follow the examples of the NRL

      When you have a contract to uphold then you uphold it.

      It’s a very poor example to our children when players and coaches don’t uphold their contracts.

      What do i tell my child when he says that he doesn’t want to finish the season and goes onto say that lots of League players chop and change.

    • August 11th 2018 @ 12:19pm
      Barry said | August 11th 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

      The penrith board made the decision to sack Griffin and Gus as an Employee was entrusted with the job of telling the coach he wont be coaching past this season

      • August 11th 2018 @ 3:31pm
        Mushi said | August 11th 2018 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

        Really? Odd behavior, generally a board doesn’t do that without some direction unless they’re also planning on giving Gus the flick?

        His media comments since would also be considered above and beyond

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