Des Hasler looks set for a huge pay out from the Manly Sea Eagles as new email evidence proves his innocent surrounding their pride jersey.
When Manly announced they would be wearing a pride jersey in their round 20 fixture with the Sydney Roosters it was meant to be a celebration, but what ensued was a nightmare.
Several high profile figures at the club expressed their discontent with wearing the jersey with many players refusing to play. This moment can be seen as the catalyst which ruined Manly’s season.
The Sea Eagles were in the playoff picture come the fixture with the Roosters, but with so many first team players out they lost and proceeded to lose their final 5 games of the season leaving them 11th and well out of playoff contention.
The disruption caused by the pride jersey is ultimately what cost Hasler his job, as he was guaranteed a contract extension to 2024 if he finished in the top-six.
Many at the club believe Hasler was aware of the jersey and didn’t include any of the key figures in the squad for discussions around the jersey, with many players unhappy as it conflicted their religious beliefs.
However, The Sydney Morning Herald have published proof that Hasler was also unaware about the planned jersey and is not at fault for the event which ruined their season.
An email from his football manager, John Bonasera, explains how Hasler was blindsided by the decision as Bonasera himself never made the former Head Coach aware of any planned change in jersey.
The email reads:
“It was always painted as ‘Everyone in League’ to me. I genuinely don’t even remember this email.
“I should have engaged other people in the conversation from football before letting it go to production. We have worn several other one-off jerseys in recent weeks. I missed this as significant.
“I knew I would miss something one day [in fact I told you that I would] as I have been putting one foot in front of the other for quite a while – not thinking just doing and it’s my job to think and mitigate circumstances such as this in advance.
“I apologise for putting us in this position and understand the potential ramifications. Thanks for always supporting me.”
Hasler already has an agreed pay out of $450,000 from the club but with this email evidence he now has a claim to any lost earnings from a potential 2024 season.