It’s not been a great a couple of weeks for Super League and the game in general in terms of Sandow, Segerayaro and Solomona. All three have been getting bashed along with their agents.
From an agent’s point of view it’s important to remember that an agent works for his client, ie the player, and at times you have to go to ‘war’ for them. Having said that in my opinion, and most agents will agree, you should always be upfront and honest with the club in question. It seems as though in these current cases that hasn’t happened.
The James Segayaro situation from the outside just looks like poor form to me. Okay if you’re homesick you’re homesick, speak to the club in advance and try and work something out, giving the club enough time to find a replacement. Most clubs will work with you if you front them up. To wait until you get to the other-side of the world, have a meeting with the CEO and not say anything and then a few days after go to the media and say you want to leave – it’s not just on.
Chris Sandow’s situation is very similar. Warrington are a fantastic club and look after their players really well. I really feel for Karl Fitzpatrick and the team over there. I read that Chris said it was a cultural thing but his manager Sam Ayoub, who has some big players on his books, should know better. Sometimes you have to go against your players’ wish and do the right thing. None of my players would have played this situation like this, I wouldn’t have allowed it.
The Denny Solomona one is a difficult one and it must be said none of us really know the exact facts here. As I understand it from the media Denny was on Y salary and Sale have offered him 5xY. Firstly, every single one of us would take that offer in our normal jobs, you would be stupid not to! However you can’t just take your bat and ball home if you don’t get your own way. The club has also a duty if a player has an opportunity that is too good to turn down to try and work something out. Again I’m speculating, but I find it hard to believe that Cas wouldn’t have been open to a discussion.
Recently one of our players had an opportunity to go to the NRL but his club turned it down. We were disappointed naturally but respected the clubs wishes, we didn’t go public and we got on with it.
As we don’t know all the facts it’s hard to criticise, but surely if you would have worked with Cas something could have been sorted out for all parties. Steve Gill and Daryl Powell are good people to deal with, I can’t help but feel that someone like Craig Harrison or ourselves could have got this done amicably.
Just remember not to tar everyone with the same brush, like most fields there are good people and bad people. Most agents in Rugby League are good guys, there a few bad eggs and I am sure over time they will be pushed out of the game. Several clubs are refusing to deal with certain agents now and its great to see them standing up to these guys.
Brett Norman is an agent with Players First Sports Management (PFSM).