The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs are continuing negotiations to extend the contract of coach Des Hasler beyond 2017.
"There's significant emotion and heightened pressure around this decision at the moment. We have all agreed that it's in the best interest of everyone involved to take a breath, continue with our extension negotiations and most importantly focus on preparations for a 2017 season," said Chairman Ray Dib.
"We've built something really significant at the Bulldogs with our high performance programme and this Board has every confidence that our coach, our staff and our management will deliver a team that will be a threat deep into the Finals in 2017."
In response to today's decision, Hasler has offered the following comment:
"I have been employed by this Club as its Head Coach. I have the utmost confidence in the systems, structures and strategies that we have in place and I'm looking forward to working with the Board, CEO and staff to produce the results we all want in 2017."
Today the Board also accepted the resignation of Director Steve Mortimer from the football Club, effective immediately.
Under the Constitution the Board has the power to appoint any person to fill the vacancy and that person can hold office until the next Annual General Meeting. No decision has been made on a replacement. Mortimer will remain on the Canterbury Leagues Club Board.
"Passion for the game and passion for the Bulldogs is why Steve Mortimer is one of our 'Hall of Famers' however Steve has acknowledged that his comments have breached the Board Code of Conduct, accordingly Steve has tendered his resignation," Dib said.
"Steve's comments were his personal opinions and not the opinion of the Board. On behalf of the Board, I apologise to Des and his family for any distress they have caused. Steve has also offered his apologies to Des for his comments.
"As a Club we don’t want to lose Steve’s passion, we thank him for his significant contributions thus far and we welcome the opportunity to have him working with our players as part of the Alumni Mentoring Programme (AMP)."
Statement from Steve Mortimer
As an acknowledgement that I have breached my obligations as a Director of the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, I have today resigned from the Board.
I also believe my resignation allows Des, the club and the board to work together to improve our results and to get on with the job of winning the 2017 premiership.
I've served on the Board for the past three years and in that time believe and hope that I've made a positive contribution to our great Club.
Every time I have offered my opinion, it has always been with the club's best wishes at heart. I've expressed my opinions to Des directly - specifically my concern on the style of football we play and what the Bulldog culture is all about. I have also offered him my apologies for comments made in the media.
I hope as a result we can find the missing ingredients to achieve the success we crave. I wish Dessie all the best for 2017 and beyond and want to see the hard work, investment and effort everyone at the club has put in reap the rewards it deserves.
I will always love the Bulldogs and am proud to remain involved with the Club’s Alumni Mentoring Programme. To Ray, Raelene and the board I will assist in any-way I can.