Well, that escalated quickly!
Yesterday on Triple M radio Gorden Tallis told listeners that Robbie Farah personally told him that Michael Potter can’t coach. That set off a shit storm that ironically probably saved Potter from being sacked on Sunday night.
This is what Gorden Tallis said:
“Robbie Farah told me to my face,” Tallis said. “I don’t go on anybody else. When I was at Triple M last year on the Saturday show. He told me Mick Potter can’t coach. He told me. I don’t go on Chinese whispers. The facts came out of his mouth.”
Farah heard about the Gorden Tallis accusation before the Wests Tigers took on the St George/Illawarra Dragons on Sunday afternoon and was pretty upset about it. Farah actually confronted Tallis as he left the field after the Tigers loss in what was said to be a tense confrontation.
“Yeah, not happy about it. He knows I’m not happy about it. It’s completely false.’
Farah was later defended on Triple M radio by his manager Sam Ayoub. Keeping in mind that Ayoub will say what ever he needs to to protect his client (That is his job), Ayoub mentioned that Farah and Potter live close to one another, have a good working relationship, and claimed that Farah explicitly told Wests Tigers management he wanted no part in deciding the fate of coach Michael Potter:
“Robbie directly went into Mayer’s office and said…I don’t want any say or input into what you do with the coach. Our job is to play your job is to administer and make decisions about coaches so leave us out of it,”
Tallis stuck to his guns though:
“Farah to my face when I was at Triple M last year, on a Saturday show, he told me that Michael Potter can’t coach, he told me.”
The fallout for all of this led into the Wests Tigers board meeting to decide the fate of coach Michael Potter. They later released a statement saying they would not make a decision on his future as the clubs coach until the season was over.
I would suggest that the Wests Tigers board knew that had they sacked Michael Potter last night the fallout from that decision would have been devastating to the club. It would have turned the rest of the season into a nightmare and would have put pressure on the board…something every football club board in history always tries to avoid.
There is now speculation that Robbie Farah has had enough of all the drama at the Wests Tigers and rumours that continue to surround his power within the club. There is talk he may look to leave the club in the wake of all of this.
There is a lot to digest here so lets try to go through it bit by bit…
I believe Gorden Tallis when he says that Robbie Farah told him that Michael Potter can’t coach. Tallis has no need to lie about that. He also has nothing to gain by saying it.
There is a code among players, and former players, that you don’t throw anyone under the bus. By coming out and revealing what Farah told him, there is no question that Tallis dropped Robbie Farah right in the shit. Farah is understandably upset by that.
If Robbie Farah felt at one time that Michael Potter can’t coach, that is fine. He is allowed to have that opinion. I have no problem with that at all.
Here is what concerns me about Robbie Farah…
The old saying “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” comes to mind. I’m not going to leave it at something so simplistic however.
For every drama that we have seen at the Wests Tigers over the years, Robbie Farah’s name has been attached to it. Whether it was Tim Sheens losing the playing group, his relationship with Benji Marshall, his anger at the Tigers not re-signing players, even right up to the tug of war over James Tedesco earlier this year….Farah’s name gets brought up every single time.
That may be unfair. Robbie Farah is the highest profile player at the Tigers and tossing his name into every story that revolves around the club makes for a better story in a lot of cases. That means that Farah is either very unlucky to be linked to all of these issues the club has faced…or he has been involved in them. If the latter is the case you have to wonder if Robbie Farah has too much of a say at the Wests Tigers and if he is an unsettling influence at the club.
I can see why Farah would be thinking about his future at the Wests Tigers. To be dealing with these issues over and over again must be draining. At some point however Farah needs to sit down and think about why these things keep coming back on him. Even if he isn’t involved is any of it, he needs to think about why his name keeps getting tossed up when ever there is a drama at the Tigers.
I tend to think the Wests Tigers management is gutless. This is a club that brought in Brian Smith to conduct a full review of their operations. They then had Smith interview players and ask what they thought of Michael Potter as a coach. What type of club needs someone from outside to come in and tell them how things are going? Where is the leadership? Where is the basic understanding of what is happening right under managements very noses?
I wonder if management finds it easy to use Robbie Farah as a soft target. Drag him in for a friendly chat from time to time, make him feel like he has a say, and then when things go back Farah takes the blame ahead of the CEO and the board.
Where ever the truth lies, this is a huge mess for the Wests Tigers club. The Tigers are still a chance of making the finals series, but with all of this going on, its hard to see the club winning too many more games this season.