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Manly football department had to change

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by clontaago, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

    +170 /1
    Manly owner Scott Penn has opened up on the tumultuous year at the club, revealing star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans would not have backflipped on his Gold Coast deal had they not made significant changes in the football department within the club.

    In a forthright interview with Fairfax Media, Penn spoke about the club's drama-plagued 2015 campaign, addressing the issues of player unrest, the implications of the Glenn Stewart contract saga and how an SOS to Bob Fulton led to Trent Barrett's arrival at the club.

    With the club coming to terms with the fact it had seemingly just lost Kieran Foran to Parramatta and Cherry-Evans to the Titans, it took a drastic shake-up behind closed doors to convince Cherry-Evans to renege on his lucrative deal with the Gold Coast before round 13 last year.

    Plans for the future: Manly owner Scott Penn.Photo: Tomasz Machnik

    "Yes, definitely," Penn said when asked if significant changes in the football department had to made to keep Cherry-Evans. "There is no question we had to paint that picture. We had to paint a picture for the future that was going to be exciting enough for him to stay. Other clubs were putting forward compelling alternatives to what we were.

    "It was an indictment on the structure we had at the time. We weren't giving Daly and Kieran the hope we were going to be the long-term successful organisation we wanted to be. That's pretty damning when you can't retain your marquees because they can't see where the club is going."

    The Penn family gained 90 per cent ownership of the Sea Eagles in October 2014 after a $6 million buy out of Quantum's share in the club, just a month after former coach Geoff Toovey's second-placed team had been bundled out of the finals in straight sets.

    Farewell: Former Manly coach Geoff Toovey shakes the hand of Scott Penn after the press conference announcing the coach's sacking in July last year.Photo: Dallas Kilponen

    For Penn, that is when the alarm bells began ringing, noticing a change in attitude among the playing group.

    With money ready to spend, the Manly chairman approached Toovey on the eve of the 2015 season, demanding "significant changes" to the club's football operations having already begun sounding out potential coaching replacements, including Parramatta coach Brad Arthur.

    Penn had also received feedback from Cherry-Evans and Foran about the club's football program, searching for direction as they looked to secure their futures.

    "I remember meeting with Geoff before the start of the season and I said to him 'I'm happy to leave it in your hands, but we need to make significant changes'," Penn said.

    "I was absolutely clear and said 'I don't want to be having this conversation in seven weeks time when we're zero and seven or one and six because it's going to be a really difficult conversation'. I said those exact words to him and literally seven weeks later we were one and six. And nothing had changed. That wasn't a position I wanted to be in. But you can't keep doing the same things if you want a different result."

    Fairfax Media broke the news of Barrett's agreement with the Sea Eagles in May last year when it looked like the then-Penrith assistant would be brought in as Toovey's right-hand man mid-season with a view to taking over in 2016.

    However given Toovey's status at the club, Penn admits it was out of respect that he was allowed to see out the year.

    "Geoff's a life member at the club and is loved by all," Penn said. "We didn't want to disrespect that. We wanted to make sure he had the chance to turn things around and go on his terms. This was never personal. I felt it was the right thing for him and the club to give him a bit of a swansong."


    Before Penn's meeting with Toovey, he approached Fulton for advice. The club was still holding out hope it would turn the corner under Toovey, but they also begun planning for a changing of the guard.

    "We sat down and said 'we need help'," Penn said of his meeting with Fulton. "Dad [owner Rick Penn] and I sat down with him and said we were at a loss on how to fix this. We knew structurally what to do, but we needed someone who knew all the ins and outs of the game. And there's none better.

    "We couldn't have done it without him. Bob's an amazing man. He's a winner. That's the culture we need at this club."


    Factions began to form during the club's much-publicised handling of Glenn Stewart. In the end an offer was never put forward to the club legend, who couldn't knock back a lucrative deal from South Sydney.

    "Decisions were being made at the board that we didn't have control of at the time," Penn said.

    "From our point of view, we would have made different decisions based on loyalty. It's not to say it wouldn't have had an impact somewhere else. Definitely with Glenn, we were very firm on a process that we wanted to occur, and that process didn't happen. That was the catalyst for the disruption at the club.

    "We were adamant that we needed to put forward an offer to Glenn. And even though it wasn't a great offer, we were adamant that still needed to occur out of respect for him. That's what caused the factions among the group. He felt like we didn't want him. But that's not how we operate. From a cultural point of view, it was significantly disruptive to the club."

    His brother Brett, as well as Anthony Watmough and Steve Matai, were left disgruntled by the club's decision. It caused unrest among the playing group, some of whom blamed Cherry-Evans for Stewart's departure.

    But Penn insists the rift between Brett Stewart and Cherry-Evans has been resolved.

    "There were issues a few years back over the way certain managers handled contract negotiations ... but they are fine now," Penn said.

    "The fact is it probably wasn't handled well at the time, but it's in the past and they've dealt with it. There were other well-documented issues that Choc [Watmough] had with him as well. There was tension but it has been resolved now.

    "That's been an important process for us, that Brett is treated with the respect he deserves within the club. I think that's certainly turned around. He's happy. Every conversation I've had with him has been about how much things have changed, how great the mood is. I've never seen him so excited about a season. He's a good barometer of where we're at."

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      Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
    • ManlyArmy

      ManlyArmy Well-Known Member

      +997 /26
      DCE's turn to be thrown under the bus.
      • Agree Agree x 4
      • StuBoot

        StuBoot Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +1,065 /9
        "But you can't keep doing the same things if you want a different result."

        Um...so obviously not missing the semis, making 4 GF's and winning two wasn't good enough!
        Tough markers.
        • Agree Agree x 3
        • Budgewoi Eagle

          Budgewoi Eagle In for the long haul. Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +5,817 /82
          Why would you do that to your star player?
          I do not get it.
          And three weeks before that start of the season?
          I throw my hands up ...
          • Agree Agree x 3
          • bones

            bones Bones Knows

            +9,037 /102
            So glad that Tooves got to go out with a 'swan song'. It must have been amazing for him. He will remember it forever.
            And Tooves was the villain for not re-signing Glenn Stewart, but Barrett on the other hand is 'the man' after shafting Matt Ballin. Sounds fair.
            • Agree Agree x 3
              Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
            • Pablo

              Pablo Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

              +2,269 /24
              At least now we know it was all Geoffs fault. I was worried before I read this that the Penns were trying rule with an iron fist and have everything their way no matter the cost.
              Now I know they were just trying to safe us from Geoff.
              • Funny Funny x 3
              • Mal Cochrane

                Mal Cochrane I'm not really Mal Cochrane...

                +588 /4
                "Decisions were being made at the board that we didn't have control of at the time," Penn said.

                Interesting. When didn't Penn have control?
                • Like Like x 1
                • Chip and Chase

                  Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                  +8,579 /80
                  Gee there has been some mileage racked up on Gifty's non signing. The only thing to be gained by musing on the purpose of that article is the threat of Narkolepsy. Think I'll just have another cup of Kool Aid and put my tin foil hat on.
                  • Funny Funny x 1
                  • wombatgc

                    wombatgc Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                    +4,511 /73
                    Is he trying to start his own cult. Brainwashing posts each week. Probably have five minutes of Penn hymns at halftime at Brookie.
                    Pennslam is here followers!
                    • Funny Funny x 1
                    • mike walker

                      mike walker Well-Known Member

                      +655 /4
                      G'day all,Is it just me or does this bloke just keeps contradicting himself every time he spouts his dribble of justification.So we had to change a whole football department to get a bloke to renege on a deal with another club ,with no mention of the fact that the player was going to resign with us but had his contract pulled by this clowns mob.Not to mention it reportedly cost us twice as much as the original offer.
                      This blokes hypocrisy and deceit really winds me up and you could shoot holes through most of the rest of his rubbish,but the stuff about respect,and their definition and application of it,in regards to what Tooves was shown and his sycophantic lauding of Brett just confirms to me why I have such a low opinion of this clown and his lackeys.
                      cheers mike
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                      • cherry_poppins

                        cherry_poppins Well-Known Member

                        +1,548 /187
                        History is written by the victors
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                        • HappilyManly

                          HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                          +19,023 /367
                          Chez and Foran were so determined to sign with Clubs that had it together on the footy field, that they chose Titans and Parra - WTF is Penn drinking? :confused:

                          Many quotes from 2014 that the buyout was $3m, it seems to have doubled:wondering:

                          Matty Ballin will enjoy reading how Manly treats loyal players - well in theory at least, if not in fact @:cool:
                          • Agree Agree x 8
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                          • globaleagle

                            globaleagle Je saisis mon chapeau. Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                            +13,313 /117
                            I am just amazed. I would really love to know what goes on in some minds....to simply fib.

                            Apparently injuries is something that happens in another universe. Maybe he should treat his losses as 'injuries' so they don't exist.

                            Look, I know the pro penns are waiting on their emails to tell them how to respond to both the article and any negative comments on this site.....but seriously, there is drivel in that piece which either leads to someone suffering from delusions of grandeur, or is a bald faced fibber-saurus!

                            About the only believable thing in that article is foran wandering around bleating...where are we and what about me me me!

                            But...amongst others, dce wont come out against his employer to set his record straight.

                            Penn's continual grinding away is reminiscent of Abbot's refusal to go quietly even though he said he would.

                            Ego's are a precious thing.
                            • Agree Agree x 4
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                            • TagMonster

                              TagMonster Well-Known Member

                              +697 /50
                              As much as I disagree with the way Toovey was treated, I will accept that he changed very little in his tenure as coach. While some will blame the injury toll, which is fair to a point, I cannot look past the fact he selected James Hasson week in week out. Manly were playing awful when he threatened change, but none came. Toovey's ultimate undoing was his loyalty to his players. Still a legend iny mind, just couldn't make some tough decisions that realistically needed to happen.
                              • Agree Agree x 3
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                              • Terry Zarsoff

                                Terry Zarsoff Well-Known Member

                                +6,220 /100
                                Or Penntacostalism. And if you believe Penn, your theme tune should be the Doobie Brothers classic, 'What a Fool Believes.'

                                Subtext to all this, they had to please one or two players, so everything else transpired - no big surprises there!

                                And Tooves had to go because he couldn't change things. Which is often the case when you're under-resourced. Trentino is well-resourced and much more telegenic (the unfortunate non-use of handkerchiefs to clear the nasal passages aside), so everything is now sweet.
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                                • Wyllie Eagle

                                  Wyllie Eagle Active Member

                                  +314 /5
                                  Tooves was a dead man walking as soon as the Penns secured the 90% ownership. The Penns and Zorba were death-riding Tooves from that very moment.
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                                  • manlyfan76

                                    manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                                    +8,029 /174
                                    So get in trouble with the cap due to using too many players due to injuries. Or get sacked for not changing things.
                                    At least he credits Toovey with being a lifemember of the club and not the company.
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                                    • The Wheel

                                      The Wheel Well-Known Member

                                      +2,756 /88
                                      Watch out you will be accused of falling for Zorbas BS in the Telegraph - everything was fine last year and we would have been premiers this year if Bozo had not intervened....,,

                                      Good to see Tooves is still held in such high esteem by everyone he spilled too much blood and sweat to have his legendary status tarnished by what has happened
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                                      • COMMANDER

                                        COMMANDER IF YOU DO NOT TRY YOU CAN NOT FAIL

                                        +2,412 /121
                                        Said it a couple hundred times, but when you try to hire another coach (Arthur) before the season starts (because that's what Kieren Foran wanted, and the only way he was going to sign with Manly) you are going to have a bad season.

                                        The club lame ducked Tooves before a ball was kicked in 2015.
                                        • Agree Agree x 9
                                        • Mark from Brisbane

                                          Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

                                          +19,621 /383
                                          If I comment the way I feel you'll need that " Nark" button, so no comment.

                                          PS: that photo of 2V & Mr Fluffy, says it all doesn't it.
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