Tigers chair accuses Panthers of 'poor form' over Cleary approach
Wests Tigers chairwoman Marina Go believes Penrith have shown "really poor form" by approaching Ivan Cleary when he still has two years to run on his contract.
Speaking on League Life on Fox Sports on Wednesday night, Go said the club's board was not impressed with the actions of Panthers chairman Dave O'Neill in trying to lure Cleary away from the Tigers.
"I think it's really poor form that they have approached our coach when he has two years left on his contract," she said.
When asked if she believed the Panthers were acting unethically, she said: "Yes, I would say so, yes. Absolutely."
Go said her club's position on its head coach had not changed because unless Cleary asked for a release, they expected him to carry out his duties as per usual.
Panthers executive general manager Phil Gould said on Wednesday he was trying to contact Go to discuss the Cleary situation. Go said she had not had a chance to respond as she had been busy attending to another board meeting separate to her Wests Tigers duties.
"I don't know what he wants to say ... he wants to speak to me, I have no reason to speak to him," she said.
Go reiterated the Wests Tigers would not grant Cleary a release if indeed he did approach the club to be allowed to leave before his deal expires at the end of the 2020 Telstra Premiership season.
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"We value him, he's a fantastic coach, he's done such great things with our club," she said.
"The players love him. We want to retain that, and we have every reason to, and every right to."
The ninth-placed Tigers need to beat the Raiders in Canberra on Sunday to keep their slim finals hopes alive.