Farah's exit a 'sad situation': Bellamy
Craig Bellamy is a man from the 'old school' which is probably why the goings on at Wests Tigers this week have struck a cord with the master coach.
The Tigers announced on Tuesday night they had informed skipper Robbie Farah that he was welcome to seek opportunities at another club at season's end, despite still having two years to run on his contract.
In a season where player loyalty has been the subject of much conjecture, this recent split has thrown the issue back into the spotlight.
The manner in which Farah looks set to depart from the club at which he has spent the last 12 years is one has not sat quite right with the Melbourne coach.
"The loyalty thing is a two-way street," Bellamy said.
"It just seems to be that when clubs feel that they don't want a player or a player doesn't fit into their plans... you just cut him free with two years to go on his contract.
"I don't know what's changed in the two years. Two years ago they signed Robbie into a four-year deal then halfway through the contact they want to get him out of the club.
"It is hard for me to comment because I'm not in the club and I don't know what the exact reasons are. There is obviously a lot of speculation that it is not all about salary cap... unless you're in the club you don't know exactly. It is just a sad situation."
The Storm announced on Wednesday they had signed Billy Slater to a two-year contract extension in a deal that will effectively ensure the fullback remains, along with skipper Cameron Smith, a one-club player at the Storm.
Yet after 236 games, including a premiership win in 2005, Farah will no get the chance to finish his career in the same manner.
The 31-year-old has even been told that should he remain on the Tigers list in 2016 he would be banished to reserve grade.
Bellamy, who worked with Farah as NSW coach in 2009, seemed baffled by how sour things had become at Wests.
"When you see how long he has played for that club and it's been the only club he's played for. He captained them for I don't know how many years now and he's played in a premiership side with them and then all of a sudden it ends like that," Bellamy said.
"You would like to see it done in a lot more respectful way. To say that you are just going to be playing reserve grade, that don't sit well with me. That shouldn't be happening to a guy that has given the service to a club that he's given."
Melbourne fast a tough assignment on Saturday night against the Cowboys at AAMI Park.
The Storm must win to remain within a shot of finishing inside the top four.