Former Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter says he pleaded with club management not to sign unwanted skipper Robbie Farah to a four-year deal.
Potter, who was sacked at the end of last NRL season, claims in 2013 he urged the then Tigers board and CEO Grant Mayer to only offer Farah a two-year contract, but said he had no control over the decision.
“My input was dismissed,” Potter told News Corp Australia.
“I thought that was the right thing to do for Robbie and the club, and if he was still going well at the end of the two years you could have kept him on.
“Age becomes no barrier. But you don’t sign a 30-year-old for four years, I don’t think.
Farah’s lucrative back-ended four-year deal was done early in Potter’s two turbulent years in charge of the troubled Tigers, and presents complications now the 31-year-old premiership-winning hooker has been told his services are no longer needed.
The joint-venture club may have to pay a significant chunk of the remaining two years of his contract, worth a reported $1 million a season, if another NRL side takes him on.
Potter was heavily critical of his former club, saying it played “Fantasy League with real players but other people’s money” and he regretted taking up the coaching role.
“I think I finished up with a group of people who were very divisive,” he said.
“Not all, there were some very lovely people at Wests Tigers. But it was an organisation that had so many issues and needed so many changes.
“I have never been at a club like that but it was out of my control. I wasn’t able to assemble my own squad as such apart from a couple of players.”
On Wednesday Farah revealed he was told this week he’ll be playing reserve grade next season if he chooses to stay.
His manager Sam Ayoub admitted he had already been approached by a number of clubs in the UK, but said his client’s No.1 priority would be to stay in the NRL.