Magpie Hughie Stanley has joined George Jarrett on the departure lounge before a ball has been kicked.
Magpie Hughie Stanley has joined George Jarrett on the departure lounge before a ball has been kicked.

Money buys loyalty

RUGBY league loyalty – what a joke.

Loyalty in rugby league is officially dead.

It’s an epidemic in the NRL and it is rearing its ugly head at a local level.

Players are more concerned about their hip pocket than … well, doing the right thing.

The fans in general are loyal, so why not the players?

Gone are the days when you look someone in the eye, shake their hand and commit to a contract

A perfect example is the recent fiasco at the Magpies.

After a dismal season in 2010 the Magpies were given renewed hope this year with the signings of Hughie Stanley and George Jarrett.

Stanley and Jarrett were members of the Magpies premiership winning side in 2009.

It’s no secret the Magpies paid Jarrett and Stanley a handsome sum for their services in 2009 which is understandable given their talent on the rugby league field.

Stanley was quickly scooped up by the Sydney Roosters Toyota Cup side and Jarrett returned to the Central Queensland Comets.

Keen to get fans back to the game and be a competitive outfit in 2011, the Magpies strengthened their playing roster which included Stanley and Jarrett.

The close-knit duo returned to the Clarence to be a part of a Magpies revival but after a handful of training runs they decided to jump ship for greener pastures.

Co-coaches Ricky Binge and Dallas Waters are now left with a side minus two potential match-winners.

So where’s the loyalty?

To quote Clarke Gable from Gone with the Wind, most players will respond with: “Frankly I don’t give a damn.”

Binge and Waters are both highly respected men in local rugby league circles.

And yes, they’ll say – like most other coaches in the same position – they wish Jarrett and Stanley all the best for the future.

There’s nothing wrong with players improving their career, when they’re a free agent

Stanley is a gifted footballer with years ahead of him and in a way I can understand his decision to further his career and hopefully get a shot at the big time.

But the harsh reality is Stanley and Jarrett let down their coaches, their team-mates and more importantly their fans.

It’s a sad reality players continue to look after number one. And there’s no problem with that – as long as they can live with their decision.

Unfortunately for the modern-day rugby league player loyalty is a thing of the past. That’s unless your club is capable of lining their pockets with cold, hard cash.



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