When Benji Marshall was last off contract, he could have left the Wests Tigers quite easily. With bigger money being offered elsewhere, Marshall did something really admirable. He re-signed with the Wests Tigers on a long term deal for a lot less than he was being offered overseas. The only thing he wanted was for his contract to be readjusted once the new broadcasting deal came through.
Benji Marshall was loyal. He stuck by the club as things were not going all that great. In a lot of ways Benji Marshall has the attitude of an old school footballer. Sure, times a tough, but he isn’t going to use them as a reason to leave. He is going to stick around and try to drag the team kicking and screaming out of its current predicament.
When you consider that Benji Marshall helped lead the Wests Tigers to a Premiership in 2005, and that since then the club has failed to bring in any really great players to the club to help players like Marshall and Farah maintain a consistant winning record over the year, Marshall has every right to ponder leaving the club.
The thing is, he STILL doesn’t want to. Marshall wants to be a one club player no matter what. So why are the Wests Tigers doing everything they can to screw Benji Marshall over?
Loyalty is a loaded word in Rugby League. It normally only works one way. When a player wants to leave a club we all ask “Where is the loyalty in Rugby League these days?”.
Well here we have a great player who wants to stay at the Wests Tigers. One of Rugby League true superstars, he doesn’t care where they sit on the ladder, he wants to be a Tiger for life. He isn’t even asking for more than he was primised, he just wants to Tigers to come through on their agreement that they made a few years ago.
Where is the Wests Tigers loyalty to one of the best player to have every pulled on a boot for either the joint venture, Western Suburbs, or Balmain? Why is the club making it so difficult for one of the most maretable players in the game to stay loyal to them?
Benji Marshall has stated that he does not want to play for another NRL club. That he would rather leave the NRL altogether than play against his beloved Tigers. This might end up happening, Benji Marshall might leave Rugby League to go and play Rugby Union because the Wests Tigers can not honour a deal they made with the best player in the joint ventures history.
Marshall might not be in the best form, but he is one of the best players in the game. He is playing in a terrible side and under an average coach. He is playing for a club that is fractured at board level and all he wants is to stay. The Wests Tigers should throw money at Benji Marshall and thank him every single day for his loyalty, for his respect, for keeping the Tigers relevant even as they struggle, and for being a player that wants to commit his entire career to the club.
As a Penrith Panthers fan I would be deliroius is we signed Benji Marshall. If we spend $1 million per year on him, I wouldn’t have any issues at all with it. What he brings to a club in terms of marketing, and then his ability on the field, just pay him now Gus!
The silly thing is, Marshall is worth more to the Tigers than he would be worth to the Panthers. That the Tigers are making this process difficult for Marshall is a disgrace.
Where is the loyalty in Rugby League these days?
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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