First edition of the ‘Takeaway Roast’ where I’ll give my take on the John Bateman v James Hooper stories from the weekend.
First a quick timeline of events:
Friday afternoon: James Hooper writes a story claiming that the Canberra Raiders had rejected 4 release requests by John Bateman’s management since last years Grand Final. When contacted by Fox, Bateman’s manager Isaac Moses was quoted “You’re wrong. You’ll see the full story.”
Fox Sports stood by the story
Later that afternoon, Fox update that story by Hooper claiming that Bateman is being shopped to rival clubs
Friday Evening: John Bateman takes to Twitter calling it a “bullshit story”, saying he has never asked for a release
Saturday morning: Raiders CEO Don Furner states that Bateman has been allowed to speak to other clubs
Saturday evening: John Bateman clarifies his position saying the Raiders gave him permission to speak with other clubs due to salary cap issues next year, and “have nothing for me from 2022”.
Sunday: James Hooper stands by his story on Triple M saying John “is ducking and diving a little bit”.
So what is the truth?
For me it’s a little bit of Column A, a little bit of Column B, with some extra salt and pepper.
Love or hate Isaac Moses, he is there to get the most for his client and himself (not necessarily in that order).
Under contract until the end of 2021, Bateman can’t speak with other clubs until November of 2020.
Moses is not going to sit on his arse for the next year waiting until he can speak with other clubs to get paid.
Getting a contract upgrade, or the ability to speak with other clubs to find out what they are willing to pay, is best for both Bateman (and of course Moses).
While not specifically asking for a ‘release’, Bateman/Moses would have been asking to speak with other clubs to get a value estimate.
Raiders could then negotiate to extend/upgrade to that, or THEN Bateman/Moses could ask for a release if they’re not happy.
Bateman even said this in his tweet on Saturday saying “I have a renegotiation clause in my deal for every year and that’s why we are working through it”
Asking for a release, and the ability to speak to other clubs to test your value, are 2 totally different things.
With both Moses and Bateman denying the ‘release’ part of Hooper’s story, and Hooper’s track record of misinformation, personally I am believing Bateman that he didn’t ask for a release, just the ability to test his value.
But let’s wait and see….