NRL Rd 11 - Titans v Panthers
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 26: Stephen Crichton of the Panthers scores a try during the round 11 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers at Cbus Super Stadium on July 26, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Penrith is sweating on the future of Stephen Crichton after the centre refused to commit his future to the club.

Crichton was expected to sign a new three-year $1.5 million deal with the Panthers once he switched management companies but the 20-year-old has yet to sign a new deal and refuted claims of a handshake agreement with Ivan Cleary to remain at the Panthers.

Crichton told Christian Nicolussi from The Sydney Morning Herald that he is searching for the best deal for his family.

“I spoke to Ivan, the handshake … I told him I’ll see what’s best for my family and things like that. I didn’t have a manager at the time. Now I’ve got one, so I’ve left it with them to look after.

“I was committed [to Penrith], but I’m seeing what’s best for my family as well.”

Crichton has been linked to the Sydney Roosters as a replacement for Josh Morris who leaves the club at the end of next season.


  1. Pretty poor from him & the Penrith hierarchy. If that’s true & who knows if it is ? No loyalty whatsoever, to a club that’s brought you through.
    Oh well, back near the bottom of the table again, until they discover the next big name centres . Who will then be poached away a year later , by the perennial poacher clubs .

  2. The club needs a big time private backer. Then all of a sudden, everyone is happy to stay ! It’s a Miracle!!!!!

  3. That’s one of the biggest issues with the NRL.
    Clubs invest a lot of time and money in juniors only for other clubs to swoop in with big money deals.
    Its been happening to us for years and yes we are guilty of exploiting it to but so is every other club.

  4. I disagree Panthers 18.
    They should have had him signed up for much longer a year ago. They failed to do that or find any extra local private sponsorships to sweeten the deal.
    They’ve been allowing other players to leave, such as Daine Laurie signing with West’s. So they’d have extra money for this type of deal. Then they fail to get the deal done. So they lose everyone .
    Great job done there , as per normal ,with re-signing players.
    If Crichton does just make some crap excuse to go for another deal at the Roosters though. Shows he’s worth about as much as the former drug dealing fullback Michael Gordon. He wasn’t good to his word either.
    Love the club & want to stay, but I’m going anyway.
    Rotten tomato time for Crichton; next time he’s playing at Penrith, for the Roosters. If that is the case.

  5. Rotten tomatoes from all the crowd may not achieve anything? Still it would be quite satisfying to see him totally covered in rotten tomatoes.

  6. I’m so sick of the clubs developing players, only to have them poached away by the heavily corporate backed clubs. For many of these deals , they use ‘ Independent Corporate Sponsorships’. Which aren’t even counted under the salary cap.
    I’m going to take up a petition on behalf of the development clubs , to force the NRL to change how the transfer of players occur between clubs. Especially young players.
    A transfer fee is now absolutely necessary, to at least assist the clubs who develop players. Only to have the players poached away from them. Only money paid as a transfer fee , or development payment can at least assist in levelling out the playing field.
    The difference between the haves & have nots as clubs is ridiculous.
    Only people power can change the status quo & force a change in the NRL. As the NRL is also heavily controlled by the clubs that are the ‘Have’ clubs & their former players .
    I’m sure there’s plenty of Warriors, North Queensland, Parramatta, Penrith supporters who would agree with me. Even the Biggest club’s supporters like Brisbane & ( now heavily backed ) Newcastle supporters must agree with this .
    It’s time for change!!!!

  7. Yes i agree. All that time and money to develop players into first graders like Roger Tuivasa-Scheck , Latrell Mitchell, Ryan Matterson , Kane Evans & Dylan Napa only to have the leave for massive contracts….Roosters are getting dudded!!

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