Former Manly star Anthony Watmough has unleashed an extraordinary, expletive-ridden tirade against current skipper Daly Cherry-Evans and ex-coaches Des Hasler and Geoff Toovey.
Speaking on the Hello Sport podcast, Watmough claimed Cherry-Evans “turned into a f***wit” after demanding a massive pay increase following their 2011 NRL premiership win.
In the latest in a series of stories to tarnish the name of the former Queensland representative, Watmough accused Cherry-Evans of effectively holding the club to ransom over his contract demands.
Watmough was among a group of senior players who helped the club to a long period of success during the latter part of last decade and into the 2010s.
Watmough said that many of that Sea Eagles generation of players accepted less many to keep the playing group together.
And Cherry-Evans’ demand for a greatly-upgraded contract in 2012 put him offside with members of the senior playing group.
He claimed Cherry-Evans vowed not to turn up to training unless the club gave into his demands.
“I said ‘mate you just signed a f***ing four-year deal, you turn up to training’, Watmough said.
“He (Cherry-Evans) goes ‘Nup. My manager told me not to’.
“Not to turn up to training … I’ve looked after him, gave him whatever he wanted as a kid. Always made sure he didn’t want for anything.
“I said to him ‘mate, you know what we’ve sacrificed to stay together, to be successful. Your time will come’ and he just looked me straight in the eye and went ‘nah, not turning up’.
“So I’ve walked out and went to Tooves (Toovey) and said ‘don’t give him any money. You’ve got him by the balls. If he doesn’t turn up to training, fine him’.
“And Tooves just succumbed to the board, next thing we know he’s up around the $500,000 mark after being on $50,000.”
“So that’s where Tooves stopped worrying about the players and started worrying about his own back. Tooves chose one side of the board over the players and that’s where he lost me.”
Cherry-Evans’ name has taken a battering over the last few years after his decision to turn his back on a contract with the Gold Coast, rumours he had been blacklisted by Queensland over personality clashes and the Sea Eagles’ refusal to pick Jackson Hastings following an confrontation with the club’s No.7.
Manly, chairman Scott Penn and Cherry-Evans’ management did not reply when contacted by AAP on Wednesday.
The forward also gave his version of events surrounding ex-coach Hasler’s departure to Canterbury in the days after the 2011 premiership triumph, saying he “burnt a lot of bridges”.
“If he had of just said ‘I’ve been offered $1.5 million, I’m going,’ we would have said ‘good, go’. But he blamed everyone else.
“So we as players were furious and then what we found out in the aftermath, well Dessie’s Dessie. He’s always going to look after Dessie.”
Australian Associated Press