Hasler starts legal action against Bulldogs
Des Hasler is not through with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs just yet, with the former NRL coach preparing to sue the club for an alleged breach of contract.
The case has been listed for a directions hearing in the NSW Supreme Court on December 1. The documents were filed on Monday.
It was not an unexpected move on Hasler's part after he was sacked by the Bulldogs in September. The Bulldogs finished a disappointing 11th in 2017, with 10 wins and 14 losses.
Late Tuesday, Bulldogs chairman Ray Dib acknowledged that Hasler had begun legal action against the club.
"This week the club received court documents filed by Des Hasler's lawyers. The club intends to defend the matter," Dib said in a statement posted on the club's website
"Given that the matter is now before the courts, it is not appropriate for any further comment to be made by the club regarding the dispute."
Hasler and the Bullldogs agreed last April to extend his stay at Belmore until 2019, which is understood to be the crux of the former Manly dual premiership-winning coach's legal action.
When he parted ways with the Bulldogs – a club he guided to two grand finals – Dib said there had not been a signed contract that was legally binding.
"The heads of agreement reached with Des Hasler for an extension of his contract were non-binding and a decision has been made not to renew his contract for next year," Dib said in September.
Hasler's legal team will debate that notion in court, seeking compensation for the 56-year-old.
Dean Pay, a former assistant to Craig Bellamy at Melbourne and to Ricky Stuart at Canberra, was appointed the Bulldogs' new NRL coach nine days after Hasler's departure.
As a player, Pay was a member of two grand final teams at Canterbury, losing the 1994 title to the Raiders before winning it all the following year against Manly.
Hasler's exit was part of a flood of key Bulldogs personnel walking out the door in 2017. CEO Raelene Castle (resigned), captain James Graham (to St George Illawarra) and popular local junior Josh Reynolds (Wests Tigers) headlined that list.