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No payout for Hasler: Bulldogs

No payout for Hasler: Bulldogs
The Bulldogs will be looking to start anew in 2018. Credit: Robb Cox. Copyright: NRL Photos.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs chairman Ray Dib insists the club will not be paying out sacked coach Des Hasler's contract despite announcing the former coach's extension in April.

Hasler was given his marching orders on Tuesday after months of speculation came to an end following the Bulldogs' poor 2017 season.

With former CEO Raelene Castle also departing, the board agreed a fresh start was required across the club with high profile recruits Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran signed on for next season.

Speculation the Bulldogs would be required to pay out Hasler's final two years of his deal was shut down on Wednesday by Dib, who said Hasler's new deal was a verbal agreement and not official.

"Back in April of 2017 we entered into a non-binding agreement with the coach," Dib told bulldogs.com.au.

"Des's contract ends in October 2017 and the board has made a decision not to renew that contract.

"Going forward there will be no liabilities moving forward for the next two years."

Dib said the board came to its decision following a review and input from senior players at the club.

The announcement comes as the club also farewelled skipper James Graham and local favourite Josh Reynolds last week to all but end a formidable era at Belmore. 

"We've finalised an end-of-year review and have decided the time is right now for change," Dib said.

"The findings were clearly there we were due for change and this is the right time.

"It's always a tough decision, especially when you've got a high profile coach that spent six years at the club and got us to two grand final appearances."

The players were notified of Hasler's demise prior to the official announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

New recruits Foran and Woods were also told and Dib remained adamant the pair remained committed to the club.

"The senior playing group were involved in the thorough review and I've spoken to some senior players and advised them of our decision," Dib said.

"We keep in constant contact [with new recruits] and I've spoken to both of them not long ago and advised them of the new direction of the club.

"They're looking forward to wearing the blue and white colours next year. With a new coach, CEO and marquee signings in 2018, the time is right."

The board are now on the hunt for a new head coach with Canberra Raiders assistant Dean Pay considered a favourite, while former Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire is also an option.

Dib said the club was yet to open discussions with coaching candidates.

"No one at this stage, we've got to open it up and look for the best available person," he said.

"We've got passionate fans who deserve better and hopefully with the changes we've made it will bring success quicker in 2018 and beyond."

 

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