Des Hasler reportedly considering suing Manly Sea Eagles over pride jersey fiasco
Des Hasler and the Manly Sea Eagles could be headed for an ugly split with the veteran coach threatening to sue the club over the rainbow jersey fiasco that derailed its season.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 61-year-old is weighing up a lawsuit of more than $1 million against the Sea Eagles for “allegedly compromising his ability to fulfil his contractual obligations”.
Hasler, who is contracted until the end of 2023, has been seeking to extend his contract by a year and would have automatically triggered a contract extension if his side had secured a top-six finish this season.
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However, the Sea Eagles ended the season with an alarming form slump that came after the club’s decision to launch a pride jersey without consulting the playing group first, a call which resulted in seven players making themselves unavailable for selection ahead of that week’s match.
Hasler’s side lost that game in round 20 against the Roosters, and ended the season 11th on the ladder after seven consecutive defeats.
According to the report, Hasler will argue that the decision to blindside the playing group with the pride jersey “impeded his ability to reach the key performance indicators of his employment”.
Manly sat in ninth position on the ladder prior to the crucial round 20 clash.
Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans has been a vocal supporter of Hasler’s and said he’d like to see his coach remain at the club.
”I obviously came out quite publicly at the start and backed Des and nothing’s changed there,” he told 9News Sydney.
“I love Des as my coach, so I do hope the club can sort it out, but I do understand there is a business side to footy and Des and the club are going to try sort through that.
“I’d love to see some stability for sure.”
Current Sharks assistant Josh Hannay and former Broncos and Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold are the two main contenders to replace Hasler.
Despite being Hasler’s successor of choice, Hannay admitted that he would have to ask himself, “what are you actually walking into?” before accepting a role at Manly.
“There’s plenty of noise around Manly at the moment. They are the things that weigh on your mind as you’re making these decisions,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“There’s a lot of negativity around them at the moment, but you can’t deny the talent that exists in that roster. A lot of it was sitting on the sidelines at different times this year.
“While there is a bit of negativity around that club at the moment, it was only 12 months ago they were a top-four side and had arguably the best player in the game (Tom Trbojevic) at fullback.
“I know for them over there there are some negative headlines, but if you look at the roster, there’s also certainly plenty to like about the job and the club.
“That’s all part of the process, weighing up the pros and cons and making sure everything is on the table.”
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