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Paul Kent has implored the NRL to get tough on the actions of player agents as John Bateman’s contract stand-off with the Raiders develops.
Foxsports.com.au revealed that Bateman, in conjunction with his new manager Issac Moses, had asked for four releases since the Green Machine back-rower declared he may look to quit the club in the lead-up to last year’s grand final.
Bateman ditched English agent Andy Clarke midway through 2019, and has been angling for an upgraded deal after being crowned Dally M back-rower of the year.
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Kent, however, has warned that this is becoming an all too common trend in the game.
“At some point the NRL has got to show a little bit of courage and intelligence,” Kent told Fox League Live. “[They need] to stop this practice which is going on managers are doing deals with players, realizing they’ve done a dud deal and then essentially holding the clubs to ransom.
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“Clubs have salary caps, it’s a jigsaw puzzle. Now, John Bateman signed a contract with the Raiders for a transfer fee to bring him over from England, he came over happily.
“He had a manager get in his ear and tell him he’s worth more money than what he was currently signed for.
“So, obviously the player hears he’s worth more, the manager says: I can get you $ 800,000-900,000 but you’ve got to get rid of your current manager and sign with me.
“That’s what happened before the grand final and it came out that he was looking to renegotiate.”
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Kent argued that Bateman is not the first player to try this trick.
“Managers who have got no consideration for the club and they’ll argue my priority is the client, not the club,” Kent added.
“But there is also a relationship that needs to be done, but what the NRL is encouraging to be done… you saw it with Ryan Matterson.
“Essentially the Tigers did a good deal, then halfway through the year after he’d improved and been in the training squad for Origin, his manager tells him you’re worth more money now. He didn’t say to his manager you’ve done a dud deal, I’m going to flick you.
“They throw their toys out of the cot.
“The NRL has got to get involved somewhere because at the moment, managers are holding clubs to ransom. Managers have far too much power. ”