Hoppa had 90% fan support?


First Grader
From SMH

Hoppa has the numbers according to fans but Sea Eagles chief kills off comeback
July 29, 2005

Manly have closed the door on the possibility of John Hopoate making a comeback for the club, despite majority shareholder and Sea Eagles sponsor Max Delmege saying his return would have boosted attendances at Brookvale Oval for the remainder of the season by up to 20 per cent.

With Hopoate's 17-match suspension for striking Cronulla's Keith Galloway due to end this week, Delmege has been leading a push to overturn the former Test winger's sacking and claims that 90 per cent of Manly supporters were in favour of him being given another chance.

Delmege said in yesterday's Herald that a final decision would be left to coach Des Hasler, but Manly chief executive Pat Wilson last night announced that the club would not seek to have Hopoate re-registered with the NRL.

"John has got a lot of friends here and he's contributed a lot to the club," Wilson said. "[But] he can't play without being registered."

Wilson declined to go into the reasons behind the club's decision but Delmege admitted the issue had divided the club.

"I think the players would probably want him back, but whether Des wants him back I don't know," Delmege told Channel Nine. "Quite possibly there would be some board members who don't want him back and there would be some fans who wouldn't want him back.

"It's very easy to judge Hoppa without knowing him. If people got to know John Hopoate I think they would certainly change their view on the type of person he is. There's a poll on the website and I think it would be nine in favour [of Hopoate returning] to every one against. I think if Hoppa did return to the game there'd probably be something like 25,000 people there to watch him."

Wilson confirmed the Sea Eagles were still in talks with Roosters prop George Rose but said the club was no longer interested in Parramatta winger Matt Petersen. Manly announced Reed Constructions would be the club's shorts sponsor.

Brad Walter


First Grader
So is Max saying that the crowds have been keeping away because Hoppa isn't playing, even though we are already getting above average crowds in 2005?

I think we may get a 25,000 crowd if we had a home semi.

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