Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah looks set to remain at Concord next NRL season with new CEO Justin Pascoe saying the club intends to honour his contract.
In just his fourth day on the job, Pascoe has moved to put his stamp on the side and left the door open for the NSW hooker to see out the remaining two years of his deal and stay a one-club player.
“The club has maintained that it intends to honour its contractual commitments to Robbie,” Pascoe told AAP.
“That hasn’t changed. We don’t intend to breach at all any contractual obligations to any player.”
Pascoe’s comments are at odds with the stance of coach Jason Taylor who when asked in August if there was any chance that Farah could remain, said it was best if he moved on.
Farah was told he was free to negotiate with rival clubs and that he if he wished to remain, he would spend the 2016 season in reserve grade.
“My feelings are that we need a fresh start and Robbie needs a fresh start,” Taylor said at the time.
“We’d love nothing more than to see Robbie play for an opposition club next year and play really, really well.”
The decision to ask Farah to leave has been a public relations disaster for the Tigers.
Earlier this month a group of Tigers supporters marched on club headquarters to vent their disgust.
While at their final home game of the season at Campbelltown, the crowd broke into “Robbie” chants at several points and some brandished signs calling for Taylor to be sacked.
Pascoe said he would meet with Farah and his manager Sam Ayoub next week and planned to put the issue to bed as quickly as possible.
Throughout the ordeal, Farah has maintained his intention to dig his heels in and see out his $900,000-a-year deal.
Pascoe said Farah was still free to negotiate but the ball was in his court to find another club.
Asked if Farah would wear Tigers colours next year should he wish to stay, Pascoe said: “Yeah”.
“We will honour contractual commitments but in saying that Robbie has been given permission to investigate opportunities at other clubs,” Pascoe said.
“He’s the current captain of the club and the life member of the club.
“I hope everyone rests assured that the decision to let Robbie negotiate with other clubs, if that’s what he chooses to do, was not made lightly.”