Benji Marshall says the Wests Tigers’ decision to axe Robbie Farah is due to his abrasive personality and not the club’s precarious salary cap position.
Farah has been given permission to negotiate with other NRL clubs by coach Jason Taylor despite having two years left to run on his deal.
Taylor last week said Farah had been let go in an effort to shore up the club’s long term future.
Farah is on a deal worth a reported $950,000 and Taylor said holding onto the NSW No.9 would stifle their recruitment and they needed to make room in the salary cap.
However former Tigers playmaker Marshall says he believes the stoush comes down to a personality clash between Farah and Taylor.
“He’s a very bad loser and a very emotional person when it comes to defeat,” Marshall said on NRL 360 on Fox Sports.
“After games I think he lets it get the better of him sometimes … They talk about salary cap being the reason why but in my opinion it’s got nothing to do with it.
“It’s more about the personal battle between him and JT.”
Marshall – who played alongside Farah in the joint ventures’ 2005 premiership team before parting ways with the club in 2013 – said Farah was “not everybody’s cup of tea” and sometimes difficult to get along with because of his outspoken nature.
Marshall defended Farah however, saying he was only forthright because he loved the club and had given his all for it.
Farah fell out with former Tigers coaches Tim Sheens and Mick Potter before their departures.
Marshall also revealed both he and Farah took pay cuts at the Tigers’ request in 2012 after the club realised it was set to breach the salary cap.
Marshall sliced $80,000 off his salary while Farah agreed to a $200,000 reduction.
They did it on the provision that those amounts would be added onto their salaries in their final years at the club.
Marshall said Farah deserved to be treated better and expected him to dig his heels in and fight for his spot next season.
“We both (took pay cuts). In 2012 the club came to us and said they were going to be X amount over the cap,” Marshall said.
“In 2012 I think I took an $80,000 pay cut and Robbie took a $200,000 pay cut for two years in a row.
“When I agreed to a five-year deal after that year, that was going to be back-ended and added onto my contract. The same thing happened with Robbie.
“Everyone looks at (Farah’s) price tag and sees $950,000 and says `well he’s not worth 950′. Well it’s really 750 and the 200 he took off three or four years ago to keep the club afloat.
“That’s how much the club means to the bloke and that’s how much it meant to me. We were willing to give up our money to keep the club under the cap.”