Well, I finally may have solved what has puzzled many for weeks now concerning the unexpected resignation of Paul Rowley from his position as head coach.
I kept my counsel when comments were made regarding ‘morals’ and ‘integrity’, although I did use those words a number of times myself.
They are words that are really important to me as I live my life by them and have built a successful business of repeat customers around them.
It was hard to take for members of the board, especially given they also run their own businesses, two of them being accountants.
I was puzzled by the reference to them as there was no big bust up but I just wanted everything to settle down and become next week’s chip paper.
However today I learned that perhaps the real reason Paul left his post was to take an appointment as the coach of the Canadian team that will enter Championship One next year.
Now this hasn’t been formally stated so at this stage is purely my speculation.
However speculation with some pretty solid substance – given the man with morals has approached at least one senior player and one member of coaching staff to join him as a member of his team.
There are rumoured to be a number of players contacted but after confirmation from one senior player and coach and another informing they had at this stage merely been invited for a catch up.
But we’re aware of what was going on I decided I need not dig further as I have sufficient information to formally complain to the RFL for approaches to contracted parties ahead of the May deadline.
Clearly not the first involvement Canada would have been looking for with the RFL.
I understand the process of appointing a coach early for recruitment and identifying targets but to use your position as a former boss to attract players and staff away from a club that has treated you very very well goes against everything I stand for, and I have no shame in making that known here – it has saddened me so much that he would do that.
Paul was onto everything in regarding players being approached and would have been onto the RFL like a shot, and he deserves to be treated how he would expect others to be treated.
Paul approached me about coaching Canada’s national team two years ago and I declined his request, also turning down Neil Jukes’ similar request.
Paul also put them in contact with me with a view to them buying Leigh Centurions.
I did think it strange as I said at the time why Paul would just walk out of a job, but my mind is more settled now and circumstances are now much clearer given this was obviously on the table for him.
Had he asked me to be released from his contract to take the opportunity we could have worked it out but what I cannot and will not accept is him attempting to attract my players away from the club.
This is also disrespectful to Neil Jukes, whom has not only been honourable and loyal to Paul during his reign had also become close friends.
The World Club Series was on my screen this weekend and I enjoyed all three games despite the one sided results.
It is concerning to me how far ahead they appear to be and these were warm up matches whereas we a three rounds in.
They just looked bigger faster and stronger all across the park in all three games and we certainly have some catching up to do.
The worst of it all was the horrific injury to Micky Mcillorum and I wish him a full and speedy recovery. He is one tough customer and I am sure he will fight back.
That injury has seen lots of speculation surrounding Bob Beswick however I can confirm that I have not had any offer for Bob from Wigan, and I am not sure they would be looking to recruit a player who is currently out injured and in possible need of an operation. Bob is in Neil’s future plans so we will be looking to extend his stay with us rather than sell him but he is another one of those whom we will probably need to achieve Super League to keep.
I believe on Sunday we saw the start of something special and the forming of a team.
The way the boys fought through in difficult circumstances showing resilience and the rugged determination to fight for the right to victory against a very good London side was very comforting indeed.
The victory for Oldham over Dewsbury and the win for Batley over Sheffield, who had previously beaten Halifax, perhaps put our previous results into perspective.
This Championship is going to be one tough competition and perhaps one of the toughest gigs is up next with a trip to Bradford which I am sure will be decimated and used to draw all kinds of conclusions about the season.
We will go and give a good account of ourselves and keep aiming to build some resolve over the next few weeks before we start to get some fit bodies back and Neil gets to make decisions on actually picking from a full pool of players.