The Manly Sea Eagles boldly asked rivals the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to buy out the final year of Des Hasler’s contract to allow him to move directly to Belmore.
But far from being intimidated, Hasler is preparing to “dig in” in an attempt to remain coach at Brookvale next year. The board will meet on Friday aiming to resolve the ugly matter before the weekend.
Hasler was controversially stood down by Manly’s board over a series of alleged breaches of contract.
Aware the club faced a payout of up to $450,000 for next season, Manly management bizarrely asked Canterbury for the money in return for allowing Hasler to start at Belmore straight away.
While initially scoffed at, it is understood the Bulldogs may have a change of heart.
“They were looking to punt him without having to pay him,” one Bulldog insider said.
“We have Jim Dymock here next season and then Des comes. We are comfortable with that. We weren’t going to pay another $450,000 because Manly didn’t want to cough up for their payout.”
Canterbury chief executive Todd Greenberg admitted an approach had come from Manly.
“But we would prefer not to speculate about any of those discussions,” Greenberg said.
It’s understood the Manly board stood down Hasler for allegedly attempting to poach staff to Canterbury and being disparaging to the board
Hasler has vehemently denied both accusations.
He is ready for a fight because of his strong desire to lead Manly next season, when the club will attempt to land back-to-back premierships.
Manly players were not commenting on Thursday but the team wants Hasler back to defend their crown.