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Cocaine scandal that almost killed off Titans has helped them sign ace half-back Daly Cherry-Evans

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Eagleheart, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Eagleheart

    Eagleheart Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +1,259 / 40
    Cocaine scandal that almost killed off Titans has helped them sign ace half-back Daly Cherry-Evans

    • The Sunday Mail (Qld)
    • March 07, 2015 11:00PM

    THE cocaine scandal that threatened to kill the Titans was described as the darkest day in Queensland sport.

    Instead it proved a key moment in helping the strife-torn club to clinch Daly Cherry-Evans.

    The Sunday Mail can today reveal the machinations of a $4 million negotiation that steered Cherry-Evans towards Manly until the drug storm sensationally blew the half-back into the path of the Titans.

    “In the initial stages, it was assumed he would probably stay where he is,” Titans coach Neil Henry conceded on Saturday.

    Six months of meticulous planning, three face-to-face meetings, including secret trips to Sydney, and one boardroom lunch on the Gold Coast was the groundwork that conjured the biggest coup in Titans history.

    It was shortly after 9pm on Friday that Titans chairwoman Rebecca Frizelle received the text message from Cherry-Evans’ manager Gavin Orr advising the Manly half-back had just told his teammates he wanted to move to the Gold Coast.

    But without the cocaine-supply scandal that rocked the Titans, it is doubtful Cherry-Evans would have left the security of Brookvale for a life of financial uncertainty at the Titans.

    The Maroons ace celebrated his 26th birthday on the day Karmichael Hunt and Titans duo Beau Falloon and Jamie Dowling were charged with drug offences by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission.

    At that point, Cherry-Evans was staying at Manly.

    Three days later, on Monday, February 23, the Titans unwittingly played their trump card.

    Plunged into voluntary administration, the Titans turned to the NRL, largely unaware the governing body’s salvation would extend to preserving their pursuit of Cherry-Evans.

    Had the Titans vaudeville show rolled on unabated without NRL intervention, Cherry-Evans would be running on to Brookvale singing Eagle Rock in 2016.

    But the NRL’s firm belief a team had to exist on the Coast gave the Test playmaker the last strand of conviction to defect with certainty.

    Cherry-Evans’ private concerns were laid bare precisely a week earlier.

    On February 16, he and wife Vessa flew to the Gold Coast to meet with Frizelle, manager Orr, Henry and Titans recruitment chief Jamie Mathiou in the boardroom of Frizelle’s Audi dealership at Southport.

    They deliberately avoided Titans HQ, opting for Frizelle’s company for total privacy so no players or media would see their covert gathering.

    “It was off-site purely to keep it private and not to insult Manly or Daly Cherry-Evans, so we wanted the negotiation to stay quiet,” Frizelle said.

    “The club has had such an up-and-down history, I think it was important he got to know who was behind the club and that was our only intention for having the meeting.”

    For 90 minutes over a lunch of burgers and steaks served in the 20-person boardroom, they spoke football, life, the direction of the club and the beauty of the Gold Coast community.

    Cherry-Evans left impressed but still there were doubts.

    He had sought clarity over the Titans’ financial health.

    After all, he and Vessa had built a happy life in Sydney.

    On April 12 last year, they outlaid $1.355 million for an opulent four-bedroom house at Curl Curl on Sydney’s northern beaches.

    If Cherry-Evans was going to leave a new home, and his wife’s nearby family, the Titans needed a bottom line and administrative structure as secure as Fort Knox.

    The NRL’s assurances and governance, even amid the drugs fiasco, erased any doubt. And there were personal motivations.

    At 26, with 11 Tests, five Origins, one premiership, two grand finals and a Churchill Medal from only four seasons of first-grade at Manly, the challenge to rebuild a club at rock bottom became a major selling point.

    “I can’t speak on his behalf, but from the discussions we’ve had with him he obviously felt he has achieved a lot in the game and you know he could see there was a lot of opportunities to be involved in the reconstruction of a club that has been through some difficult times,” Titans boss Graham Annesley said.

    “I think that was attractive to him. Whether that was his sole reason or not that is a matter for him.”

    The seeds for the great DCE heist were planted in November, shortly after Mathiou signed on as Titans recruitment boss.

    A former North Sydney and Cowboys forward who worked under Roosters godfather Nick Politis as the club’s Queensland-based talent spotter, Mathiou went for the jugular.

    A no-nonsense operator who calls a spade a shovel, Mathiou, working a year ahead, scanned a list of off-contract players for 2016.

    Cherry-Evans’ name shone like a beacon.

    He phoned Gavin Orr just before Christmas and expressed interest in the Mackay product.

    It is understood Orr shot back: “The Titans? Mate you can’t afford him.” Mathiou replied with a grin: “Bloody oath we can.”

    He refused to comment on Saturday, but Frizelle lauded Mathiou as a key figure in broking the deal.

    When the former Politis employee formally tabled a three-year deal to Orr early last month, Mathiou walked away convinced the Titans had their man. The Sharks entered the race late with a $2.4 million offer, but were never a serious threat.

    To seal the deal, the Titans agreed to extend the term of the initial contract to four years, two of which are in DCE’s favour, meaning he is technically a free agent when the NRL’s TV rights deal expires in 2017.

    Frizelle said Henry and Mathiou deserve most credit for the signing coup, fighting hard for Cherry-Evans’ signature despite the Titans’ surfeit of setbacks. “Our board and CEO are up for the challenge every time. Why wouldn’t it be possible?” Frizelle said.

    “So we did everything we could to support Neil’s direction building his playing roster and we will continue to do that.

    “This is all largely down to Neil and Jamie and the work they’ve put in, which is extensive.”

    Henry said even when Manly sensationally withdrew their offer last week, he refused to believe the Titans deal was over the line.

    “I thought we were a chance, but to say we were definitely going to snare him is one of the things you can’t ever be definite about,” Henry said.

    “Daly has always been honest and upfront … the main thing is he has gone through that diligence and thought for my family and himself personally he feels it’s the best move for him.”

    Annesley added: “We all thought it was ambitious (to chase him). He probably could have gone to many clubs, many clubs wealthier than ours.

    “But we didn’t go into it just thinking we could play a part in just pushing his price up for somebody else. We went into it hoping that with an ounce of luck we could finish up with one of the best players in the game.”

    Finally, the Titans have got the rub of the green.

  2. NewwyEagle

    NewwyEagle I sleep in a racing car

    +1,103 / 50
    I just want him gone immediately.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. globaleagle

    globaleagle Où est mon chapeau Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +7,597 / 55
    So.....he thinks he's the messiah who can help a club go better through tough times?

    One could argue he could've done that here.

    Still see the sticky nrl fingerprints all over some dodgy $$$$ deals in this.
  4. robbiea

    robbiea Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +1,494 / 57
    The current NRL management seems shady as hell ,something def stinks there.
    I heard a rumour they were in on that Moscow assassination last week.
  5. TokyoEagle

    TokyoEagle Well-Known Member

    +258 / 4
    Bad news turns good all of a sudden. Where do they keep the sick bags on this flight?
  6. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    +5,437 / 74
    Disgusting. The administration of this competition are a joke.

    I won't go as far as to call them corrupt but I will say that the field is far from level for all teams
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Member

    +31 / 1
    Never experienced this kinda will he/won't he thing in league before. It happens all the time in football(soccer) but in league I thought players were happy to earn a bit of coin(obviously) but most of all play for their mates. It's what sets league apart from other sports. What Cherry has done is low imo. He will never win a premiership at the Titans. When he has retired, sure he will have money, but he will always be the guy who walked out on us just when we wanted him to lead us.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. HoldenV8

    HoldenV8 Well-Known Member

    +6,500 / 117
    Pretty much what we already knew. It was the NRL now running the club that allowed the Titans the financial resources to sign DCE.

    And while I do believe he is a quality player, I don't think DCE can lead the Titans to premiership glory. Not unless they can give him an international or Origin forward pack to play behind and quality backs to play off him. Remember here at Manly he's had for the most part a damn good forward pack and some of the best backs in the game to help him along. And he's also had 3 of the best (one considered to be THE best) halfbacks coaching him at Manly (Des, Tooves and Joey).

    The Gold Coast move will sort out how good Cherry-Evans really is.
  9. castle eagle

    castle eagle Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +635 / 5
    that bit doesn't surprise me one little bit, he can negotiate a new deal as soon as the new t.v. deal is done to get another increase.
    i was under the impression it was orr's doing, chasing the money all the time but now who knows, maybe they are tarred with the same brush.
    D.C.E. = Desires Cash Escalation
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  10. Loobs

    Loobs I am not really Scott Penn Premium Member

    +6,155 / 252
    So he's got two years to lead them to a premiership? Uhhh did anyone tell him about Parra's five year plan?
  11. IQofalimabean

    IQofalimabean Well-Known Member

    +272 / 11
    Wouldn't be the first time the NRL has stepped in to screw manly over. Maybe they just don't want us to win the premiership lol. On second thought Manly not paying overs for their halves will allow them to buy a better forward pack and have a better shot at the title in the long term.
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  12. Moondog

    Moondog Grey-beard loon Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Hervey Bay
    +3,409 / 32
    So, the Titans have got their man, the NRL is happy and it's all due to illicit drugs....and the message the NRL is sending to the kids out there is?
    Instead of coming down on this club like a ton of bricks they've rewarded them for their incompetence.
    Remember kids, drugs are good.
    • Like Like x 7
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015


    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    +1,714 / 79
    DCE is to the Titans as Ablett is to the Suns. Just a pawn in the NRL's effort to retain territory on the GC.

    Was never going to Cronulla and wasn't going to go to the Titans until the NRL got involved.
  14. TagMonster

    TagMonster Well-Known Member

    +506 / 28
    To be honest I'm happy we didn't resign him now. If we did it would have been a similar contract to this one. If he is going to be a free agent in 2017 even though he is contracted for 4 years that would mean we will have a DCE Tour again in 2016. So 12 months of respite then the Titans get to go through the crap we have been. Enjoy...
    • Like Like x 1
  15. The Who

    The Who Well-Known Member

    Mona Vale
    +4,719 / 96
    Again this story confirms that the Titans fraudulently made an offer of employment to Evans knowing they were broke. What a disgraceful outfit. Yet the NRL allows them to continue in the comp simply because they are duty bound to supply eight games of NRL football for TV each week.
    How much lower can our beloved sport sink?
    • Like Like x 1
  16. sheridanstand78

    sheridanstand78 Well-Known Member

    +3,302 / 51
    I want someone to tell me why, the Titans have not been fined for bringing the game into disrepute? Their reward for the cocaine scandal is to get DCE. I am so sick of the double standards coming from the NRL. Our club were smashed in 2009 to the tune of 100K and Snake suspended for 4 games for what turned out to be a big fat lie!

    The lengths that the NRL have gone to ensure this deal went through and in contrast what they DIDNT do when we needed about 200K to retain Gifty is really astonishing.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Pablo

    Pablo Well-Known Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +1,335 / 15
    D ollar
    C hasing
    E gomaniac
  18. Moondog

    Moondog Grey-beard loon Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Hervey Bay
    +3,409 / 32
  19. mickqld

    mickqld Sack Greenslime 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Gold Coast
    +3,720 / 55
    A corrupt , rigged sport no different to WWF. Why bother investing time , money and emotion into something that is now so obviously tainted and orchestrated for tv, ratings and $$. Who's the next club in line for the everyone wins a prize league.
  20. wombatgc

    wombatgc Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Gold Coast
    +2,292 / 41
    Yep that's how I'm reading this if the timeline is correct. How was Mathiou telling Orr bloody oath we can ( afford him) when they were supposedly already broke?

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