Derek Beaumont criticises ‘desperate’ Hull FC after John Asiata announcement

Aaron Bower
Derek Beaumont

Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont - Alamy

Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont has branded Hull FC ‘desperate’ over the timing of their announcement of John Asiata’s move to the MKM Stadium for 2025 – before lifting the lid on their own negotiations with Asiata regarding a new deal.

Asiata will swap Leigh for Hull in 2025 after signing a bumper three-year deal, which will see Asiata paid in excess of £200,000 per season. The move was announced by the Black and Whites on Friday afternoon, hours before they took to the field to face Warrington.

And Beaumont, speaking before Leigh’s game against Castleford on Saturday, has taken a swipe at Hull for the timing of the announcement and attacking their behaviour regarding the announcement, saying Asiata has been ‘thrown under a bus’ by his future employers.

Beaumont said: “If it gets leaked or whatever, then you don’t acknowledge it. To see John thrown under a bus by the club he’s going to go to, in my opinion, by putting that out with a picture of him holding the cup with words that I think have been provided by his agent rather than him, it’s not really good behaviour from Hull.

“But.. desperate people do desperate things and that’s what I put it down to, because they look pretty desperate.

“We’ve signed players that we’ve not announced. There’s a player that’s been signed from here that hasn’t been announced by their new club because the correct etiquette around it is that that business just remains private.”

Beaumont revealed that Leigh initially offered Asiata a one-year contract extension based on ‘medical knowledge’ and the player’s age with an upgraded salary, but initially changed their mind to offer him a two-year deal.

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However by that stage, Hull had already come to the table with a bumper offer for three years which the player ultimately accepted.

And Beaumont revealed: “We wanted to keep John and we offered him a one-year deal because at his age and the medical knowledge that we have, the intelligence that we speak with, we felt that from the club’s point of view, that was the best thing to do.

“We agreed an increase on his salary that his agent was okay with, but he wanted two years. We understand that, so we moved to do that after we’d seen him recover from his injury.

“You don’t really want to be dealing with players on long deals when they’re sat injured, it’s a common thing in our sport but it doesn’t give you a lot of confidence and we have to also factor in that at the end of last season, John missed the last four games through being injured, he then played one game and a few minutes and got injured then returned against Catalans for 20 minutes and has got injured again.

“We’re sat with a player that had played one in 15 games plus 20-odd minutes, a couple of years deal, and a significant part of our salary cap plus a quota spot.

“We conceded to the second year then we were told there was a significant offer which we’d need to increase, and we just simply said no. You can’t have someone coming in crazy chucking daft offers like that.

“If they want to run their business like that and give a player a three-year deal when we think two is risky, then that’s their prerogative and what they want to do. When I found out the figures that he’s getting, which have been reported in the press, I was made up for John.

“I was staggered by it, but I was made up for him and I contacted John to say I was made up for him and his family.”

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