Sports

Gus says Jackson offered to take pay cut, Cleary get-out clause if dad sacked



Canterbury general manager Phil Gould has revealed Bulldogs captain Josh Jackson offered to take a pay cut if it meant it would help the club retain younger talent.

Jackson is contracted until the end of next year and Gould shot down speculation the veteran forward could be shipped off at the end of this season to help alleviate salary cap pressure.

The Dogs have several high-priced players like Luke Thompson, Corey Allan, Kyle Flanagan and Tevita Pangai jnr who have not been value-for-money investments thus far.

Canterbury are alone in last position with a 1-6 record heading into this Saturday’s home clash with the Roosters.

Gould posted on Twitter that Jackson had approached coach Trent Barrett and “offered to take pay cut to help sign players. James Tamou made same offers to me years ago. He didn’t want [Panthers] losing any talented kids. This is what great blokes, great leaders do. I would never accept.”

He also rejected any chance of the Dogs making a play for Melbourne star Cameron Munster and said the club was not over the salary cap for 2023: “All players accounted for. I don’t know why I have to keep responding to such rubbish. Nor do I know why anyone listens to it.”

Cleary get-out clause if dad gets booted

Penrith co-captain Nathan Cleary’s recently signed contract extension until the end of 2027 contains a get-out clause if his father, Ivan, gets the sack as coach.

The fine print in the deal, reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, means the star halfback could leave the season after Ivan had been punted, it would not be enacted if the coach chose to head elsewhere.

It will hardly cause a flutter of nerves for Panthers fans with their unbeaten team ensconced at the top of the ladder, the coach comfortable in his role and the future looking bright for the next few seasons at least with the young talent on their roster.

Ivan Cleary, who also extended his tenure for five more years recently, was thrilled with the 36-6 win over the Raiders at Penrith on Sunday and had no dramas with his players getting into a verbal altercation with Canberra after full-time.

“It is a competitive game,” he replied when asked about the scuffle. “You can’t sort it out through the old days where there was punches involved.”

He also had no issue with Penrith fans mocking the Raiders by doing their own version of the Viking clap.

“I don’t think anyone should be getting too sensitive about stuff like that,” he said before adding in his experience as a player and coach, the away team crowds “give it to you constantly.”



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