Tomorrows back page Story to follow when up NRL off-contract players: Manly Sea Eagles call in Ken Arthurson to stop DCE, Foran leaving Daly Cherry-Evans remains unsigned at Manly HE IS known as the Godfather at Manly, now Ken Arthurson’s advice to his beloved Sea Eagles is simple: do whatever it takes to keep Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans in the family. And the man regarded as one of rugby league’s sharpest ever administrators also has a plan to counter big spending rivals like Parramatta and the Bulldogs. “I’d be giving them a bit of a scare,” Arthurson said. “I’d be chasing some of their top players and offering them huge money. “I mean, it is not one-way traffic. “I would be ripping into them if they were trying to pinch my players.” Manly chairman Scott Penn promised early last November that he would work 24/7 to have the superstar halves locked up before Christmas. But here we are just four weeks out from the start of the new NRL season and it appears negotiations have never been further apart. Manly 'Godfather' Ken Arthurson has some sage advice for coach Geoff Toovey. Penn recently called on Arthurson, Bob Fulton and Steve Menzies to attend a special meeting to seek their advice on how to put an end to the club’s constant infighting. On the subject of Foran and Cherry-Evans, Arthurson was adamant the possibility of losing the dynamic duo has revived memories of when he lost his own bidding war with the late Kerry Packer to keep Fulton at Manly. Arthurson still rates Fulton the best rugby league player to pull on a boot but he also thinks Foran and Cherry-Evans could go down as one of the great halves partnerships. “I think it is an absolute must that Manly retain their services,” Arthurson said. “And I mean this sincerely, I really think either of those young men would be foolish to break up the partnership because they will end up being one of the strongest halves combinations this game has ever produced if they stay together. “As you can imagine, I tried desperately to keep Bob Fulton. “Apart from the fact he is the best player we have ever had I just about brought the bloke up. “But Kerry Packer was a pretty hard bloke to beat when you are talking about money. “That was an awful blow to me. Manly CEO Joe Kelly and chairman Scott Penn have their hands full with contract negotiations with their star halves. “I would be moving heaven and earth to try and keep these two players.” Asked if the club could realistically afford to keep both, Arthurson said: “I think it is imperative. They should do whatever they can. “And it’s not just the club who have a lot to consider. The players have too. It is not all about financial rewards. It is also about living where you like living and where you enjoy the lifestyle. “And sometimes when you sit down and work it out there is not always a great deal in it (financially). I think the players would be wise to stay together.” Arthurson said the club was working hard to put several years of boardroom squabbling behind them. He said of his recent meeting with the Penn family and new chief executive Joe Kelly: “About a month ago Manly asked me to attend a special meeting with the owners and management to give my views and hopefully to get the club back on track in respect to all this internal bickering. Willie Mason under investigation for anti-social incident “They were just seeking my views. “In the past any disagreements we may have had, we always kept in-house. “We never washed our dirty linen in public and that is one of the things people knew about Manly. “(The future of the halves) wasn’t discussed at that meeting. “But I must say (the new owners and board) are really trying desperately to do a good job.” Arthurson also backed Geoff Toovey to stay on as coach. “I have always had a very high opinion of Toovey. He was a great player and let’s face it, in the time he has been coach he has been pretty successful,” Arthurson said. “It would be difficult to be critical of his coaching.” Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran are seen as key planks in Manly’s future.