Bulldogs ponder legal options over Sonny - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs ponder legal options over Sonny

By Steve Jancetic 28/07/2008 10:55:33 AM Comments (0)

Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg is locked away in legal meetings to work out how best to protect the NRL club's big investment in absentee star Sonny Bill Williams.

Greenberg said meeting with lawyers and not tracking down Williams, who was en route to France and a new career in rugby union, was his main priority.

"I'm not looking to make contact with Sonny at the moment, I'm looking to make contact with my legal people to make sure we get the best advice possible and we form a strategy around protecting our investment," Greenberg said.

"At the moment we're still looking at him coming back to honour the original concept, which is a five-year deal.

"Sonny Bill is in a contract, he has no get-out clause and he's basically walked out in the middle of a contract.

"You need to explore all avenues, we just need to make sure we go through all the opportunities to this club and the game to make sure people are expected to honour the commitment that they've signed."

After talks with lawyers, Greenberg will shift focus on Monday afternoon as he honours sponsors commitments ahead of the NRL clash with St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium - where Williams' name will still be listed in the Bulldogs team in the program so sudden was his weekend departure.

Williams was believed to be headed to Toulon, with reports he will take up a two-year deal worth $3 million with the French rugby club.

Toulon's president Mourad Boudjellal has since denied the existence of any deal, only confirming that the club had spoken to the disgruntled star "some time ago" about a code switch.

Greenberg has expressed dismay over claims that the International Rugby Board had distanced itself from the stand-off, with the IRB saying it had no jurisdiction over club football.

"The club is entitled to take on whatever player they see fit," IRB spokeswoman Alison Hughes told News Limited.

"Our jurisdiction is a player must make sure he is fit to play international rugby.

"The club contract is a very different animal."

There was speculation on Monday that more NRL stars could jump ship to French rugby union with Willie Mason saying he's asked his manager Greg Keenan to raise his name while on a current trip to France.

Mason previously said he would honour his deal with the Sydney Roosters - which expires in 2010 - but on Sunday said "never say never" when asked about the possibility of heading overseas.

The Roosters have yet to comment on the issue, but when asked about the Williams situation on Sunday, coach Brad Fittler said "I'd be disappointed if one of our players did it".

"For whatever reason he had, I couldn't find a strong enough reason."

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