Willie Mason has taken aim at Sydney Roosters boss Nick Politis over the club’s relentless pursuit for Cooper Cronk’s prized signature.
Mason, an ex-Rooster, is furious that the signing of Cronk could force either Mitchell Pearce or Jake Friend out of Bondi, and believes that if one of the two departs, there will be major ramifications within the playing squad.
Recent developments suggested that NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce is set to be headed out the door, considering offers from Manly and Newcastle. Pearce has reportedly expressed his disappointment to coach Trent Robinson after being told that he could potentially play off the bench next season. Part of the reason he’s apparently now in deep discussions with rival clubs.
Mason unleashed an almighty rant at Nick Politis on his TV show, ‘SkipiTV’ and Mason isn’t the only one to criticise the wealthy businessman.
Mason suggested that Politis is orchestrating the deal, leaving coach Trent Robinson in two minds.
“Robbo will be at the coal face, but with that club, Nick Politis makes every single big move,” Mason said.
“(Politis) won’t face any cameras. He will sit there and make these moves and everyone else has got to deal with it.”
When Wilie Mason signed with the tri-colours in 2008, he claimed that Politis designed the entire deal, without the coach being allowed to dispute the decision.
While Mason admitted that Cronk boasts valuable experience, he also fears that the Rooster’s culture will become scrutinized if they force out influential players from their side.
He fears that Roosters players won’t give Cronk the respect he’s entitled to if Mitchell Pearce leaves the club.
“I’m not sure how he’s going to put himself in that locker room, enforce himself and tell Friendy (Jake Friend) and those other guys that are going to have in the back of their head ‘you’re only here because you flicked one of my best mates’,” Mason said.
“We’ve heard rumours Pearce wants out … maybe Friend wants out? It could start a revolt.
“That playing group has been together for about six or seven years, the main playing group – Friend, Pearce, Boyd Cordner.
“They’ve won premierships together, so when you slide in there like Cooper Cronk is now, it’s just the worst situation for him.”
While Cooper Cronk is a high-profile player, his addition to the Roosters could cause major ramifications within the playing squad and is likely to start a transfer merry-go-round within the league.