Beaumont defends Jukes

Leigh owner Derek Beaumont has thrown his support behind coach Neil Jukes publicly over the Ryan Brierley issue.

The Centurions have been in the spotlight regarding Brierley’s contract and his desire to leave the club.

Writing in his column in the Leigh Observer, Beaumont backed Jukes and the Leigh players.

“I am immensely proud of Neil Jukes, his back room staff and the boys for the way they have performed with the adversity surrounding the club,” he wrote.

“If anyone had any doubt as to where the loyalty of the boys lies, well, they can have no doubts now.

“Yet again we have a week where confidential information is leaked to the media and again it surrounds Ryan Brierley.

“I will not get too deep into the situation here as it is in the hands of our legal advisers and a pending investigation. But what I will not do is leave it out there suggested my head coach is a liar.

“Having received an email – which Neil was included in – from Ryan handing in his notice late Monday evening, Neil understandably had a telephone conversation lasting nine minutes 32 seconds at 9.42am the following day (Tuesday March 1).

“The content of that call has been widely reported and a transcript has been requested. The information supplied by Ryan required Neil, as his head coach, to contact me and notify me of the situation which he was duty bound to do, and has done nothing wrong in making the request.

“I should also point out that even if Ryan hadn’t been approached and was just trying to capitalise on a situation, that is just business and he wouldn’t be the first sports person to have employed that tactic.

“However, when you make a bluff you have to deal with being called. I emailed the RFL, which can be verified by them that same day at 15.33 as I was in communication with them regarding an application to extend our cap.

“Within that email I informed them of the situation with Ryan of which they would be aware as he copied them in his original email and informed them that if I can increase his contract by £15k, then he would remain – and this may be less expensive and disruptive than a legal battle concerning the alleged clause.

“I asked could they provide for that within my application. I could not go back to Neil or Ryan on the matter until that was confirmed.

“In the meantime, our legal advisers continued with our position on the matter. Unfortunately, confirmation regarding the cap situation was only received on Friday, which was after the news had broken regarding Ryan’s notice situation.

“One might consider why I would send such an email to the RFL if Neil hadn’t contacted me at Ryan’s request. Neil was rightly upset by the information being released on Sky Sports, and he has the full unequivocal support of me, the board, players and staff.

“He is doing a fantastic job in difficult circumstances with injuries all over the positions and new recruits and loan signings, all of whom have represented this club with pride and passion.

“While some think all of this is causing us damage, it is actually galvanising the squad and having the opposite effect. Neil has done a tremendous job so far and is an absolute pleasure to work with.”

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