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My two cents on how we lost Des

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by MadMarcus, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. MadMarcus

    MadMarcus Local Lunatic 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,378 /74
    The loss of Des Hasler – one of Manly’s favourite sons and in my view the best coach in the NRL – is a significant event for our great club so naturally a lot of us (myself included) are upset. We want to know how it happened and who is to blame. I have tried to refrain from making any substantive comments on the events until the dust settled in my own mind on what I think has actually happened and I think I have now reached that point.

    I don’t purport to have any inside information or any ties with anyone who has any power whatsoever within the club. However perhaps what I lose from not having any “inside knowledge” I make up for in having objectivity. Like most of you all I have been doing is reading the papers with a healthy dose of scepticism. On that basis this is how I see it:

    • At the end of last year/beginning of the year Des and the Board started to negotiate an extension to Des’ contract.

    • Des quite reasonably saw this as an opportunity to secure remuneration commensurate to his status as one of the leading coaches in the NRL and to exert some pressure on the Board in relation to some other areas where Des felt the club was not taking the right approach.

    • Des’ demands on remuneration and his other demands about how the club should be run – while quite reasonable from Des’ perspective – were difficult for the Board to deal with because, quite simply, Manly didn’t have the money to meet them.

    • At this point in time Manly were without a sponsor and looking down the barrel of a loss of $1m plus for the 2011 season. This meant that the funds required to top up Des’ remuneration and fund his other demands – such as spending the cap for the Toyota Cup – would have to come directly from the pockets of the shareholders in addition to the bucketloads of cash they were already pouring in.

    • While it is easy for fans like us to say “keep Des at any cost”, if we were dipping into our own pockets for these things I’m sure we would give them much more thought. While the shareholders have made financial contributions to the club and have given every indication that they will continue to do so, they will not write a blank cheque.

    • Without an unconditional commitment of the shareholders to tip the additional funds in, each director on the Board would have been negligent and in breach of their duties under the Corporations Act if they were to vote to agree to all of Des’ demands. It could quite conceivably have led MWSE P/L towards insolvency.

    • While I believe the Board (as a whole at least, and probably each individual member) wanted to keep Des. I don’t think they would have adopted the “keep him at any cost” mentality that some fans would advocate. They would have been thinking about their other options. They would have considered that Geoff Toovey had been waiting in the wings for many years now as the heir apparent to Des. If Des was to go – which they probably considered unlikely until the Bulldogs deal came along – Manly had a pretty good Plan B ready to go. This would have been the backdrop to negotiations from the Board’s perspective.

    • This predicament would have naturally led to some difficult discussions between the Board and Des – and between the Board members themselves as well. In the heat of these discussions no doubt some things were said that should not have been said or things were not expressed as well as they could have been. There has been much conjecture as to what these things may have been, but unless you were there you don’t really know what they were.

    • Des became frustrated with the Board because it was so difficult for him to get what he wanted. This is understandable because he is a professional at the peak of his career and he thoroughly deserved everything he was asking for. If Manly were still the Silvertails, I dare say he would not have had any problem getting exactly what he wanted.

    • This is where Greenburg stepped in. Along with a compelling offer of remuneration – which at the time was undoubtedly significantly higher than Manly’s offer - he would have told Des that he could have free reign and a massive budget on all things football at Belmore. Des’ frustrations would have played right into Greenburg’s hands.

    • Naturally the picture Greenburg painted of the Bulldogs and Des’ possible role was appealing to Des. It served to highlight the difficulties he was having at Manly and re-enforce his belief that what he was asking for was right and reasonable. This would have only made negotiations more difficult, and it led Des to consider what he probably never thought to be a realistic option – leaving Manly.

    • The Board had probably been increasing its offer to Des throughout the year – particularly when Kaspersky came on board - but financially I don’t think Manly was in a position to realistically compete with the Bulldogs offer until after we won the comp. As we all know that significantly helped the bottom line.

    • The Board ultimately caved in to all or substantially all of Des’ demands and put forward a compelling financial offer at the eleventh hour. However by then it was too late. I don’t know whether Des had already signed on with the Bulldogs at that point or not, but unquestionably the difficult negotiations had taken their toll on the relationship between Des and the Board. Personally I believe Des had made the decision (at least in his own mind) to go to the Bulldogs before the GF – but I have no real proof of that and it is more of a gut feeling than anything else).

    The point I am trying to make in this post is that the Board was in quite a difficult position and that negotiating an extension to Des’ contract was not as easy as some may have you believe. Could a better Board and CEO have secured Des? Possibly. You might even say probably if you think a better Board and CEO could have secured a major sponsor much earlier than Manly did (here is the cue for the Lowe haters to come out). Overall I believe the Board as a whole did everything it could to try to secure Des on terms the club could live with, and the claims of a “dysfunctional Board” have been overstated. However this was not enough to overcome the “perfect storm” outlined above that led to Des do the unthinkable and become a Bulldog.
  2. Shoe1

    Shoe1 Well-Known Member

    +7,204 /105
    sounds plausible
  3. Crusher_Cleal

    Crusher_Cleal Well-Known Member

    +762 /21
    Well said
  4. Chip and Chase

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

    +8,581 /80
    So many manifestos, so little time.
  5. Northern Rhino

    Northern Rhino Active Member

    +65 /1
    seems like a very realistic set of circumstances, unfortunately whats happened has happened now its onwards for the future
  6. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    All the board level squabbling, sacking of Mayer, sacking of Zorba, Des getting upset with interference and lack of support into the football operations etc didn't happen?

    The lies about shafting Mayer because he wanted to move Manly to Gosford were actually true???

    Des' claim on Grand Final night that he hadn't spoken to the Football Club chairman for months etc all are fiction?

    The spin in the paper over the last couple of days of certain board members saying they wanted to keep Des and then pointing the finger at Scott Penn is all invention of the media?

    That the players are furious at certain board members and hold some in contempt is make-believe.

    That Football Club employees have left suddenly, with no explanations??

    I don't buy it!! Something underneath all this is rotten and whilst we might never know the full story (I don't), this does not sound plausible, sorry.
  7. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    Exactly CW. I can't see the heart of this being anything to do with Des attempting to extract the biggest bucks he can.
  8. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member

    +516 /0
    Well give me the reason CW. Don't just sit on the fence. Blame someone, anyone! Everyone else is.
  9. bazeagle

    bazeagle Well-Known Member

    +568 /107
    MadMarcus: way way way too long a post bud.
  10. MadMarcus

    MadMarcus Local Lunatic 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,378 /74
    It would be unhealthy if directors shared the same view on everything. There may be "squabbling" or there may be constructive debate on the current Board. I don't know. In any case I don't think it is the reason why Des left.

    Myer's departure happened during the throws of the Penn v Delmege war and is completely irrelevant. Des didn't leave because Mayer was sacked. He exercised his option to extend his contract after that happened.

    This is not relevant. See above.

    I didn't hear Des say that on GF night. In any case I don't believe it is the reason why Des left. If Des had a fractured relationship with Reilly but the rest of the Board wanted to do the deal I believe it would have still been done had the rest of the circumstances referred in my post not been prevailing at the time.

    It wouldn't be the first time the media had made things up. Board members may very well be pointing the finger at each other now. They probably are. That is not inconsistent with anything I said in my post.

    My understanding is that it has been reported that some players have expressed this view after Des left. I don't know if that is true or not. It was also reported that some players were filthy at Des. Again, it wouldn't be the first time the media made things up. In any case I don't think Des left because some players didn't like some people on the Board.

    Really? This sounds like a case for Columbo!

    I'm not sure what it has to do with Des leaving though.

    I'm not an apologist for the Board CW and I didn't say any of the things you have referred to in your post didn't happen. The Board may be the worst Board ever to be in charge of a football team or a company for all I know. I'm just saying that from what I can see, signing up Des to an extension would not have been as easy as some seem to think.
  11. bones

    bones Bones Knows

    +9,037 /102
    The thing that's rotten is News Ltd. We saw during the Brett Stewart saga how they like to make things up to sensationalise a story and to put the boot into Manly at every opportunity. You only have to look at the lead up to the Grand Final to see evidence of this. I think Mad Marcus may be on the money. Disregard everything you have learned about the whole Hasler situation through reading the Telegraph and everything probably adds up. Also disregard anything Graeme Hughes has to say on the matter. I expect G Hughes to continue to talk about the 'dysfunctional Sea Eagles board' on his radio program because he would like nothing more than to see K Foran in a bulldogs jumper.
  12. Brookvale

    Brookvale Well-Known Member

    +155 /1
    too much info, better off heading to Pitwater Rd Brookvale and sitting in their office and doing their job!
  13. brookiegreg

    brookiegreg Active Member

    +66 /0
    As Tunks has mentioned a few times this afternoon!!
  14. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +10,547 /214
    Everyone is way off the mark about this one. It's quite simple really ...
    Does Des want to go back to back? Yes!
    Which team was named favourites for 2012 straight after this year's GF? Manly!
    What is Des's tried and true strategy for winning??
    'Under the radar' of course! - and all this brouhaha will have everyone writing us off before a ball is kicked next season. Perfect...

    PONTIAN SEA EAGLE Well-Known Member

    +1,521 /114
    Look it's happened he's gone we all have to get over it.Des just do us the favour if your still around next year please give more game time to the younger guys the mauros,buhrers,oldfields etc.
  16. weev

    weev Well-Known Member

    +849 /22
    Good interpretation of the state of play Mad Marcus.

    I can't help but think just how different it would have been if this season was like last season?

    There would be no Bulldogs offer for sure.

    Premiership winning coaches are momentarily deified, as if gods. Des has milked this to secure a new challenge and to stick his finger at his detractors.

    If Manly came fifth and were quickly bowled out we would probably only have Des for a year or two more beyond his contract, in any case, and then it would be over to Tooves to take over with out any of this drama.

    Things have happened as they should. Now once the board and its mechanisms can be resolved we'll have a steady ship again.

    The really great news is we have the team and the coach for back-to-back titles. Really solid folks. And the master can prepare the accolyte, with Toovey a year to settle in to the groove.
  17. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    Mad Marcus - fair analysis though my point is that aspects of the boards structure seem to be inoperable. I don't have inside knowledge and nor is it appropriate that I (or anyone else does.)

    As said, maybe it is a case for Columbo. :)

    However, the premise of the original post in the thread, though quite neat, is implausible, which is what I was trying to say.
  18. Technical Coach

    Technical Coach Well-Known Member

    +1,135 /80
    Totally agree Mad Marcus----in the end we had the best or one of the best coaches in the game but lacked the finances to offer a figure that jumped out and stated we really really want Dessie to stay. I'm sure everyone wanted Dessie to extend his contract but were also nervous about our financial situation----it's easier to make decisions without financial constraints.

    For too long now Manly have over-achieved with success on the field far beyond what our poor financial state, lack of numbers in professional staff and facilities should have returned----Dessie wanted more and rightly so but his standing in the game has out grown our semi professional restrictions.

    Manly have been unlucky to have won grand finals and not really been able to financially take advantage of the situation due to the lack of interest in the Super League 90's---the Brett Stewart ordeal in 09 or having the stadium facilities to help increase memberships,corporate sponsorship and even increase attendances due to better facilities on top of generating more opportunities throughout game day to increase revenue streams.

    Basically we are a club that should spot under valued players, staff and coaches and hope to over-achieve on limited funds which we do in some areas but in othe areas we over spend beyond our means.

    Des Haslers real value is priced beyond our financial capacity and some players in the squad also---the risk is if we cut back on player salaries/ expenses and coaching staff quality we become less competitive on the field which in turn will reduce crowds and sponsorship opportunities. It's a fine line to balance at the moment and i would hate to be making the tough decisions from CEO all the way down to the board in these times---its a tough gig.

    I also agree Dessie signed or was relaxed in the thought he was leaving before we had the financial capacity to come back with a better offer. You could tell from the tone of the interview straight after the GF that he was sounding like someone thanking everyone before leaving---later that night all this back to back chanting to the crowd which is very much not like the reserved Dessie on top of his "Show me the money" taunt which i think was more a reference of "i bet you have the money now to sign me but i don't care if you do"

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