Having been distracted from his job by Parramatta’s off-field woes last season, Eels coach Brad Arthur is refusing to get involved the NRL club’s latest salary cap dramas.
The Eels are being investigated by the NRL in relation to the manipulation of third-party payments to both current and former players, less than a year after being found guilty of breaching the salary cap.
But with speculation of more pain to come, Arthur is refusing to let himself or the players get involved.
“I haven’t asked any questions. I’ve stayed right out of it, because me knowing what might happen or what might not happen is not going to help the team,” Arthur said on Friday.
“I need to be focused on this group of players and trying to get them ready to play footy. I need to be focused on myself.”
The third-year coach is heeding the lessons of 2015, when the boardroom saga that engulfed the club affected his ability to prepare the team.
The Eels were slugged with a $460,000 fine, penalised a suspended four competition points, and forced to undergo changes in the club’s governance.
“I’ve found at times last year I worried too much about a few other things other than the football. It’s not healthy for me, it’s not healthy for the team,” Arthur said.
Eels players, some of who were dragged into the scandal this week, have previously credited Arthur for shielding the squad from questions regarding the investigation.
The former Manly assistant coach said there was no use addressing the issue.
“We don’t talk about it at all,” he said.
“I do not talk to them about it because there’s no point. I talk to them about football and how they can be better and what they need to do to represent their jersey.”
Whilst he would welcome a quick resolution, Arthur said he was also prepared too for the NRL’s prove into the club’s books to continue for as long as it takes.
“I’ve put it up with it for two and a half years so another half a year’s not going to be matter,” he said.