It's on: Hasler, Penn take the gloves off Greg Prichard November 12, 2011 THE ongoing battle between coach Des Hasler and the Manly board has erupted into a full-scale war after Sea Eagles chairman Scott Penn last night reacted to Hasler's legal threat by declaring: ''If he wants to bring it on in court, let's go.'' After a board meeting yesterday morning, Manly said they had sacked Hasler with a year to go on his contract. Hasler had been stood down following a Wednesday board meeting for allegedly breaching his contract by inducing Sea Eagles staff members to leave. Hasler, who had signed to coach Canterbury from 2013 but is now set to take over for next season, released a statement through his adviser, leading sports agent George Mimis. In it, Hasler said he had ''not acted in any way improperly'', had ''still not been provided with any proper particularisation of what it is that I am supposed to have done'', and that ''the Manly board have unlawfully terminated my contract and I will be seeking further legal advice regarding my remedies in relation to that unlawful conduct''. Those comments and other elements of Hasler's statement were like a red rag to a bull to Penn, who exploded in reply, saying the board had ''unequivocal evidence of his [Hasler's] involvement'' in inducing staff to follow him to the Bulldogs, that Hasler had ''a blatant disregard for his contract'', and that ''for him [Hasler] to come out and say we're mistreating him is ridiculous''. The chairman said the club had scoured work computers to find evidence supporting the charge against Hasler, and that there was ''verbal and email evidence that he [Hasler] was involved in coercing staff to leave''. ''We're doing our due diligence, and reviewing all the emails,'' Penn said. ''If this matter went down a legal course, we would be very comfortable with that process. We haven't spent all of this time reviewing the matter for nothing. I would be almost certain he [Hasler] wouldn't win if it went legal.'' In his statement, Hasler said ''the allegations made against me are without any foundation whatsoever'', and ''it would have been simple, had the allegations had any substance at all, to provide me with the information to which I am legally entitled''. Penn responded by saying: ''I put a number of the scenarios of evidence to him [Hasler] when I met with him, face-to-face, on Thursday, and he flat-out denied it all. He asked us to elaborate and I elaborated verbally. We asked for a please explain.'' At the earlier news conference, Penn was asked about his negotiations earlier in the year to try to extend Hasler's deal at Manly beyond next year. Penn indicated that each time he thought he was getting close to an agreement with Hasler, the required money changed. ''Every time we were in dialogue over certain numbers in terms of contract value, we'd then go to the board and come back and say, 'Yes, we think we can meet that number', then potentially the goalposts shifted a little bit,'' Penn said. ''Therefore, that process became a protracted process, but it certainly didn't stop the intent.'' Hasler painted a vastly different story in his statement, saying: ''Earlier this season, in about April, I was approached by the board to discuss my contract. However, by June this year I had no firm offer from the club and in these circumstances I exercised the option to allow me to remain at the club for season 2012. ''The negotiations continued in the course of which I continually expressed a desire to remain at the club beyond season 2012. I was told by the club that my salary for 2012 would not be substantially increased over and above what I was paid for season 2011 and no agreement which was acceptable to me could be reached in relation to my salary for 2013 and 2014. ''I then approached the chairman â€¦ and in view of the club's inability to provide a satisfactory offer for seasons 2013 and 2014, I sought a release from the exercise of my option for season 2012. The chairman informed me that no release would be granted and that if necessary, the club would litigate the matter.'' Penn said Manly thought they had reached an agreement for Hasler to extend his deal just after the grand final. ''We said, 'What is it going to take to make you [Hasler] stay?' He put a figure on the table. I said I'll have to go back to the board. The board agreed to the figure, but he said he would have to get back to us. That led us to question whether a deal [between Hasler and Canterbury] had already been done.'' [hr] Looks like DES has been telling a few porkies. Seems pretty obvious the deal with scumdogs was done months ago. Just proves to me that DES was only worried about DES. Very ordinary form.