CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 17: Tigers coach Ivan Cleary looks on before the start of the NRL trial match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Wests Tigers at Barlow Park on February 17, 2018 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Penrith have offered Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary a long-term deal to leave the Tigers, and re-unite with the Panthers from next season.

NRL.com are reporting the four-year deal would see Cleary sign on as coach until the end of the 2022 season, and would likely in turn see his son and star Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary re-sign on a multi-year deal to remain playing under his father.

With the Tigers reportedly closing on in bringing Nathan over to the joint venture club to work alongside Ivan, the Panthers have turned the tables and are now on the verge of luring Ivan back to Penrith for his second stint at the foot of the mountains.

Ivan reportedly met with Panthers officials two weeks ago about potentially returning to the club, with Cleary having a strong relationship with Penrith chairman Dave O’Neill.

However, Tigers chairwoman Marina Go spoke to NRL.com on Monday night, and said the club would not grant Cleary and early release from his contract if he asked for one.

“It is my view that Ivan will be with the Wests Tigers as head coach for at least another two years as he has a contract with us,” Go said.

21 COMMENTS

  1. If Cleary cant see, this is only a desperate attempt by Gould to secure Nathan to the club long term, then I don’t know..Gould is a take no prisoners operator who has the gift of the gab and will say things that at the moment “make sense”…but in reality he doesn’t give a rats….Only 10 months ago Gould saw Griffin as a long term coach and extended his deal by 2 years…so what does Griffin do, get the Panthers to the semis only to be sacked…ruthless….Ivan, Ivan…see this for what it is…a plot by Gould to not hire you as his long term coach, but a plots to get Nathan to sign long term…he wants Nathan not you…see it for what it really is….Stay at the Tigers, a club who entrust you to make it great again…it shall be a far more rewarding experience when you make the Tigers great and win a premiership leading the Tigers….The Panthers have no chance with Gould “in charge”….

  2. Here is kind hearted Gus coming out and telling everyone Nathan is free to go play under Ivan if he wants to because that the wonderful guy he is. Then has lunch with Kevin Rudd and now wants Ivan back. Made a mistake Ivan, I`ve always had you in my plan. WTF is next in Gusland

  3. Suddenly Ivan is the coach to win Panthers a premiership but wasn’t 3 years ago haha Phil Gould makes me laugh! It’s so clear that this an attempt to keep Nathan, what makes Ivan so sure that Phil won’t backstab him again? Atleast Nathan will be at the club by then and Ivan will just be out of the NRL again! Honestly this tells me that Gould is so sure Nathan will leave in 2019, probably why the move to fire Griffin and get Ivan now.

  4. Two possible outcomes –
    1) This is a done deal which makes Phil Gould a mastermind (depending on how you rate Ivan Cleary)
    2) This is not a done deal which makes Phil Gould a cowboy of the highest order.

  5. Gould is ruthless in the pursuit of a GF and he and the TEAM doesn’t see Hook leading the way and im happy with that decision… and so are the boys.
    Im looking forward to seeing them in action now that this has been finalised.
    One thing for sure, we wont be getting the barrett/carty rubbish from manly.

    • No one believes you are a Penrith supporter. We all know you are @mychookmycar trying to stir sh!t between manly fans and other clubs. Douche.

  6. Why all the fuss? Nathan is a very god player and will be a great player in time, but he’s not worth all this fuss……is he?

  7. Panthers have lost a lot of good players over the last few years, and must be desperate to keep Nathan Cleary on a long term deal. I wouldn’t trust Gus from here to my front door. He comes out in the media today saying he has already had 12 applications for the coaching role – bullocks! If someone sacked me, doubt I would go back – particularly when I could go to any club over the next 2-3 years.

  8. It’s funny how everyone here is saying “it’s so obvious this is just a play to try and keep Nathan at the club”

    THATS EXACTLY WHAT IT IS!!!!!!

    And I’m sure a lot of clubs would be doing the same thing if they were in the same position….. the only reason why so many people are so against this situation is because Gus is the one pulling the strings.

    IF it happens and that’s a big IF……
    Good on the Panthers and good on Gus to pull off such a move!!!! Especially considering the circumstances and history between him and Ivan.

    Again if a club had the roster to win a premiership or 2 and had a future Australian Halfback to try and retain I would be doing whatever it’s takes. WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!

    • How many clubs have sacked a coach with 2 years left on his contract to offer the position to their previously sacked coach, who has 2 years left on his current contract, to secure a player, of any calibre?

      Congratulations, your CEO has proven he’d do anything for the club.

    • A lot of clubs don’t go crawling back to their former coach who they also fired mid way through his contract aswell haha! They also don’t go try poaching other clubs coaches mid way their contract aswell. Gee Penrith have a thing about breaking things up mid way through contracts lol, I’m sure Gould would bend over for Ivan and give him a BJ if Ivan asked lol ..

  9. So let’s sack the coach with 2 years left on his contract, to offer the job to the club’s previously sacked coach, who still has 2 years left on his contract, in order to re-sign his son, who still has 1 year left on his contract. Genius.

    Of course it would need to follow a carefully designed process in order for it not to backfire on the Panthers. Something like, Ivan to secure a release, Nathan to sign before Ivan (just in case), then who gives a f…, I mean then Ivan. Nah, second thoughts, just write a “coaches clause” into Nathan’s contract.

    I know the Tigers can reject a release from Ivan, if it eventualises, but if Ivan’s prepare do to ask for one (is prepared to play along) do they want a head coach that wants out in such a manner?

    I think Gus is lower than shark poo, and if Ivan plays along, well that’s not a good example for your son, and Nathan, you can pretty much choose any club you like anyway, so make your own call.

  10. What makes the DCE scenario any different….. manly supporters…… you’s were all happy for him to backstab Titans so he can chase the big bux and stay at the Northern Beaches true???

    Roosters fans you’s were all happy to welcome SBW into your club even though he walked out on his previous NRL club without notifying anybody!

    Roosters and Sharks fans were happy to have Todd Carney at the club EVEN THOUGH……. he continued to act up and put clubs reputations at risk!!!!!

    Broncos fans were happy to have Boyd back even though all he did was follow daddy Bennett from club to club.

    Say what ever you want but s*#t like this will always happen in the NRL…… and unless it benefits your club then people are always going to have a whinge!!

    It’s just common nature

    • Don’t get me started with Parra….. happy to bring back a player who lets face it, all he cares about is himself and his contract…… and only start to show his true talent when coincidentally…… his contract is up for renewal……
      I’m sure we all know which player I’m talking about…..
      Look where Parra finished last year look wer Parra finished this year?

      But as always everyone is so concerned about what’s happening at other clubs rather than they’re own……

      • “Westie4life” you’re right man. It’s dog eat dog.
        If One of the biggest faces of nrl ” gus” is willing to effectively gamble his media integrity to secure a future glory winning half back and coach for his club, that is so brave.

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