Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns say there’s only one way to rein in player managers as greed goes under the spotlight.
Legends Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns have suggested the only way to “rein in” player managers is to establish transfer windows in the NRL.
“Where can I lay down, my head hurts,” Johns joked, as the topic of Ryan Matterson’s manager shopping his client around was discussed on Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and The Eighth.
When asked by Johns how you can control player managers shopping their clients around, Fittler said that you can’t, unless you have transfer windows.
The Blues coach dismissed the speculation of Matterson’s future as nothing but manager talk.
“That’s just managers, they’re putting pressure on everyone. Brad Arthur wouldn’t be reading into that,” he said.
The Eels coach echoed those sentiments earlier in the week.
“We want Matto to stay,” Arthur said to reporters on Wednesday morning.
“I think he is more than comfortable here in the environment that we’ve put around him.”
The 26-year-old forward could be on the move for the third time in four seasons. After winning a premiership with the Roosters in 2018, he played one year with the Wests Tigers before forcing a move to Parramatta in 2020.
“He likes the playing group and at the end of the day the players have got to do what is best for them, but I’m sure Matto knows what is best for him is to stay here,” Arthur said.
Calls for an official transfer window in the NRL – to prevent instances of players playing entire seasons for one club despite already signing for a different one – have been ongoing for many years.
They were freshly raised by several of the game’s big names this off-season, including Panthers coach Ivan Cleary, who called the current situation ‘messy’.
Eels coach Arthur said he will “probably” talk with Matterson about his future next week.
“I’m more than comfortable that Ryan wants to stay at the club,” he said.
“We’re happy with the squad we’ve got. It is hard to keep everyone, but that is our goal.”
Melbourne Storm hooker Brandon Smith is another who has repeatedly had his playing future discussed in public, but denied reports he was moving clubs earlier in the week.
The New Zealand Test star has repeatedly admitted that he sees himself at a first-choice hooker, putting his future at the Storm, in doubt due to the emergence of Harry Grant.
In the latest report linking him with a move, it was claimed that Smith’s manager had tabled the possibility of the player buying his way out of his deal, which is due to expire at the end of next season.
However, Smith took to social media almost immediately to deflect those claims.
“Hey guys, this isn’t true,” he said on his Instagram account.
“I’d rather spend the 200k on golf lessons if anyone can help me out”.