Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah is set to take the fall for the club’s impending salary cap problems, and could walk away from the joint venture club.
The Tigers are looking at a $750,000 fine for failing to disclose their post-career ambassador role for Farah at the club, which totals $639,000.
The second fee will be added to the Tigers’ salary cap for 2019, which could mean the club would need to shed players in order to be cap compliant.
Farah spoke to The Daily Telegraph about the fines, and said he would rather take the bullet than have one of his teammates lose their current contract.
“I don’t want to cost somebody their contract or playing career,” Farah told The Daily Telegraph.
“It doesn’t mean as much to me as a young kid or something who is on a big contract. If it means I have to take a bullet I would rather do it then the guilt of someone being forced out leaving.
“Even though I know it’s not my fault I would still feel guilty. I’m struggling to deal with it. People will jump to conclusions and think I’m causing trouble. It was disappointing my name was mentioned. I didn’t think there was a need for it.”
Not only has the offer hurt the club going forward, but it has also seen Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe deregistered by the NRL.
Given Farah is yet to receive any money from the deal or even accept the proposal, it hurts him to think he’s impacted the club in such a way.
“It’s hurtful, mate,” Farah told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I don’t know why I’ve been dragged into it. I am at a point now where I am thinking about walking away. I don’t want to play. Things were going good. I was in a good headspace back at the club. But now it’s another drama. Robbie’s caused all the drama again …
“I feel sorry for Justin.
“He’s a good man and he’s turned the club around. Myself and him, we went through some tough times when the drama unfolded with the old coach [Jason Taylor]. But I’ve never questioned his integrity. For him to be deregistered through all this is just absurd.
“When this was first discussed, he just wanted to mend how I had been treated. It was a show of goodwill. He’d seen how I’d been disrespected and thought this was just the right thing to do for me post-footy.
“I don’t understand the enormity of the fines because it was public knowledge. You’d written about it [the ambassador role]. A million journos had written about it. I’d spoken about it in the media. It wasn’t something that we’d tried to hide.
“It had absolutely nothing to do with my old playing contract, or my current playing contract in coming back to the Tigers. I got my contract paid out in full when I left to go to the Rabbitohs. There were no deferred payments or anything like that. It’s not like they [the Tigers] tried to hide it.
“It’s something that I might not even take up. I haven’t been paid a cent. I have business interests outside of footy so it might not even come to fruition. What happens then? The club has been penalised for something that doesn’t even exist. I’m gobsmacked. And I’m hurt. I’m hurt by the perception of it. It doesn’t matter what I think, I know I’ve done nothing wrong. “But my name is being dragged through the mud for no reason.”