Michael Clarke says Anthony Griffin has already been SACKED as he blasts ’embarrassing’ Dragons for making coach reapply for job in sign club ‘doesn’t care’ about this season
Michael Clarke has lashed St George Illawarra Dragons for their ’embarrassing’ treatment of Anthony Griffin after the NRL club effectively ‘sacked’ their coach.
On Tuesday, reports emerged that the Dragons coach would have to re-apply for his position, with his contract set to expire at the end of 2023.
St George Illawarra are intent on assessing their options before making a decision, with former Dragons star Jason Ryle understood to have piqued the interest of club chiefs.
But former Australia Test captain Clarke believes that the Dragons have already sealed Griffin’s fate and was scathing of their failure to be decisive.
‘This is called suger-coating,’ Clarke said on Sky Sports Radio.
Michael Clarke has hit out at the Dragons for their treatment of coach Anthony Griffin
The St George Illawarra coach has been told to reapply for his position at the club
‘He’s been sacked. He should not re-apply. It’s embarrassing for him. It’s embarrassing for the Dragons if he does re-apply and he gets it.’
Clarke recalled how former Australia coach Tim Nielsen was also placed in a similar situation in 2011, and said his old mentor was ‘kicked in the guts’.
‘I saw this happen with Tim Neilsen,’ Clarke said.
‘He was told, ‘We’re looking elsewhere, you can re-apply’. It was horrible. It was a horrible process to be a part of.
‘It was so hard on the coach and the players backing the coach and supporting the coach.
‘And now it’s three games into the season — and he (Griffin) cannot be there next year. It’s a gentle, soft, polite way of saying, you will not be there next season with us.
‘Unless the 15 people we want (to coach) can’t agree to terms and then we’ll re-appoint you. It’s game over. There’ll be a new coach at the Dragons next year.’
Clarke also noted the bizarre timing of the story, insisting that the club had all summer to remove Griffin and that this season has already been written off.
‘If they were going to sack him they should have done it before the start of the year,’ he said.
Clarke believes that the club have already written off their 2023 campaign
‘How can you come out and say that three games in? That’s the only thing. Before a ball was kicked this season they should have already made their decision that he’s not going to be there next year.
‘They haven’t been that bad. Why have they not done that during the off-season? What have they seen in the last three weeks for them to change direction? Has any other coach come off contract in the last three weeks?
‘I don’t think they’ve cared about their coach. And I don’t think they’ve cared about their team. They’ve ripped their season up and said, ‘You know what, we don’t care’. This cannot help the playing group.
‘Re-apply? What a slap in the face. Is anybody going to re-apply in that situation?’
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