NRL Side Canterbury May Face Legal Fight From Former Coach After Firing
National Rugby League side Canterbury could be "heading for a legal stoush" with Des Hasler after the Bulldogs "sacked the two-time premiership-winning coach just five months after announcing his contract extension," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Canberra assistant coach Dean Pay is the "early favourite to take over" at Canterbury, while current assistant Jim Dymock has also "indicated he is keen on the role." Former South Sydney coach Michael Maguire is also "likely to come into contention." After a contract negotiation that "dragged on for over a year," Canterbury announced that Hasler would remain with the team on a two-year extension in April. The Canterbury board is "up for re-election" early in '18 and "there was a feeling" that if Hasler was not "moved on, the incumbent directors would be." Hasler reportedly "believes he is entitled to a payout" of over A$1M ($801,610) after having his contract "terminated prematurely." But Canterbury Chair Ray Dib claimed the decision to extend him was a "non-binding" one (SMH, 9/19). In Sydney, Dean Ritchie reported sources claimed Hasler was "strung along" as "fan unrest grew over the team’s performance and the role of the Canterbury board this season." Canterbury is "officially in turmoil." The head coach "has been sacked, CEO Raelene Castle is gone, captain James Graham has been moved along due to the club’s salary cap mess, while the Bulldogs’ favourite son, Josh Reynolds, has also left." Many at Canterbury believe the decision to dump Hasler is "grandstanding" from Dib, who is "facing a backlash at football club and leagues club elections early next year" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/19).