Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Yesterday news broke that the Parramatta Eels would have to meet Clint Gutherson and his management’s sizable monetary demands or risk having their captain and fullback leave the club at the end of 2022.
James Hooper from Fox Sports has detailed in an article the outcome of a meeting that the Eels had with Gutherson’s manager Sam Ayoub about a contract extension back in May that did not go well.
“Fox Sports has been told Gutherson’s agent Sam Ayoub was left fuming at Parramatta’s initial offer to the blue and gold fullback to the point where the long-time player-manager told the Eels they had “embarrassed themselves,” Hooper writes.
“Ayoub is then alleged to have walked out of the meeting at a cafe with Parramatta football staff including CEO Jim Sarantinos, general manager of football Mark O’Neill and head of recruitment Ben Rogers back in May.”
Clint Gutherson's manager stormed out of a meeting with the @TheParraEels 😡 reveals James Hooper
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) August 11, 2021
It seemed cut and dry that Gutherson would accept no less than what he believes he is worth from the Eels; however, when speaking on NRL Tonight, The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie revealed that the Parramatta skipper has refuted claims that he is demanding a big-money offer from the club where he has currently played 129 first grade games.
On NRL 360 Paul Kent has expressed serious concern over Gutherson’s future at the Eels that he believes will only worsen the longer he hasn’t signed, while former Australian halfback Cooper Cronk believes the timing of negotiations is not the issue, but the fact that this situation has been brought to the public eye.
“It doesn’t matter, if you’re a club that operates in a certain way, in private and confidentially out of respect it does not matter whether he [Gutherson] signs now, in six weeks or even Grand Final week,” said Cronk
“It’s the fact that there is just way too much information coming out at the wrong time.”
This ordeal will have huge implications on how the Eels look going forward from 2023 onwards, as they will have over $4,000,000 of their salary cap off contract at the end of next season.