South Sydney Rabbitohs hooker Issac Luke is expected to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to his managers, Chris and Gavin Orr, before the end of next month to ensure his lucrative four-year deal with Souths is registered by the NRL.
Luke is in dispute with the Orr brothers after bypassing them to broker his own deal, despite being on their books until the end of 2014.
The dispute arose when the Orrs claimed Luke tried to terminate his deal without a valid reason. The Rugby League Accredited Player Agent Scheme urged the NRL to take a strong stance because it said the actions by Luke – and South Sydney – had impeded his management agreement when he signed the deal in March. The NRL said it would not register the contract until an acceptable agreement was reached between the parties.
Luke referred the dispute to his lawyer in April, when he said of the controversy there were people “trying to mess with a lot of people’s heads”.
Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson said he believed the dispute was close to being settled but did not provide any details of a possible agreement. It is understood Pacific Sports Management, the Orrs’ company, would receive significant financial compensation.
Richardson is keen for the dispute to end after Luke again proved to be a star. “He’s had a great season, he’s had a very consistent year all round,” he said. “Chris Sandow won a lot of praise but Issac made a huge difference in some of those turnarounds. He’s a tough kid and he’s a good kid.”