Departing Canberra forward John Bateman is set to announce his exit from the NRL with the English star expected to turn his back on offers from the Bulldogs and Dragons and head home to the UK to be closer to family.
Despite bigger offers down under it is understood the Dally M forward will reject strong interest from Canterbury and St George Illawarra to link with the Wigan Warriors in the Super League, according to News Corp.
Bateman’s contract saga with the Raiders has been messy after he pushed for a release after his demands for an upgrade on his $600,000 deal weren’t met.
It is understood the Raiders had previously offered his management $750,000 for next year but they declined.
Canberra boss Don Furner on Tuesday announced Bateman would leave the national capital at season’s end after being unable to reach an agreement with the Raiders.
No hard feelings against Bateman: Raiders
Coach Ricky Stuart claimed Bateman had been mismanaged by his agent Isaac Moses and took exception to the way things were handled.
“I understand it’s a professional business and you’ve to make these decisions but it’s just how it’s been done has disappointed me,” Stuart said.
“And it’s not only this instance.
“There’s managers that need to have a higher degree of integrity and respect for clubs in their negotiations and communications because there are so many good blokes out there who are managers who take their players’ welfare into consideration very highly and they’re getting tarred with the same brush as a few others who I believe are disrespecting the position of being manager.
“It’s making their jobs harder so until the league jumps in and starts helping clubs with the rot that happens in communications and manipulations of rosters, we’ve got our hands tied behind our back, basically.”
Speaking on Wide World of Sports’ Immortal Behaviour, Andrew Johns applauded the Raiders for the way they conducted themselves during the negotiations even though the whole saga “stinks”.
Johns endorsed Stuart’s idea of getting the NRL involved to sort out issues plaguing the game involving player managers and how much power they wield over a club’s roster.
He said a possible salary-cap style umbrella to manage a player agent’s client list could work.
“Well done to Ricky and Don Furner for not being bullied by player managers on who they’re going to sign.
“They have ten players on rosters riding roughshod over who they’re recruiting, who’s the coach. It’s insane. Well done to the Raiders, it stinks. It’s stunk for a while and hopefully some really strong rules come out of this.
“Some player managers just have too many players I think there should be a limit on how many players whether they should have a salary cap.
“If a player plays for Australia they accrue a certain number and the managers have to stay under a limit. But there are player managers who have young players and they only hear from them once a year.”