Tigers board cools on Marshall29/04/2019 - Author: admin - Comments are closed
Just hours before Benji Marshall returns to the Wests Tigers’ starting side against North Queensland at Leichhardt Oval, chief executive Stephen Humphreys will hold talks with the five-eighth’s manager about his future at the club.
Marshall’s desire to sign a long-term deal with the club has been complicated by coach Mick Potter’s decision last week to dump him to the bench, potentially jeopardising the prospect of the Kiwi international finishing his career as a one-club player.
In another potential sticking point, Humphreys announced his resignation on Saturday following the Tigers’ eighth straight defeat, a 54-10 shellacking at the hands of South Sydney.
Humphreys has signalled his intention to leave the club in good shape and has made retention and recruitment a priority before he departs in two months. However, it is understood there are factions on the board who are opposed to parting with a large chunk of the club’s salary cap on a player struggling to regain his best form.
Marshall is contracted until the end of 2015 but has a clause in his contract allowing for a renegotiation following any increase in the salary cap. Tigers powerbrokers viewed the discussions as an opportunity to also extend his tenure, on a deal believed to be worth $4 million over five years. However, it’s likely the Tigers will table a revised – and probably lower – offer for the next two years and put extension discussions on the backburner.
It’s unclear whether Marshall will get an update on the talks before marking up on the world’s best pivot, Johnathan Thurston, later that night.
”It’s a situation that needs to be watched because Benji is a great and talented footballer, a very valuable property,” Tigers chairman Mike Bailey said. ”We are intending to get down to business on that before too much longer.”
In a further development off the field, Bailey wrote to ARLC boss David Smith to formally invite him to propose a new corporate structure for the Tigers.
After years of infighting, the Balmain and Western Suburbs factions have resolved to work together with the league to improve their corporate governance. One of the first things the ARLC is likely to review is the policing of rotating chairman, where a member of each faction chairs the joint-venture club for 12 months at a time. Smith and commission chairman John Grant expressed reservations about the structure at a meeting with Tigers officials on May 2, and the joint-venture club’s directors resolved to ask for the ARLC’s input at a board meeting last week.
”I’ve actually written a letter back to the league to thank them for the time they spent with us and tell them we’re only too happy to hear from them on the various fronts that were raised in the meeting in terms of what they wanted to put to us,” Bailey said.
”We’re asking for that assistance and guidance, and we will listen to what they have to say. It will then come back to the board to make a decision as to where we go from there. It’s in the post now, so to speak, and we are happy to hear from them.”
The club expected to appoint a recruitment firm to find a replacement for Humphreys next week.
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