Bulldogs prepared to talk to Toulon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs prepared to talk to Toulon

15/08/2008 09:37:29 AM Comments (0)

Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg says he is ready to discuss a financial settlement for Sonny Bill Williams with Toulon after the runaway NRL star was pulled from the French club's pre-season match overnight.

Toulon and Williams showed they were prepared to abide by a NSW Supreme Court injunction banning the New Zealand international from playing for the club by withdrawing the rogue Bulldog from their trial with Toulouse.

Toulon club president Mourad Boudjellal said the decision was made so as to not "inflame the situation", adding: "A financial settlement is going to be found at the beginning of next week."

Dogs CEO Greenberg on Friday said his club was prepared to talk.

"Their message this morning has come out loud and clear, they want to talk, and I've said a number of times the door is open, the phone is on, let's have a discussion," Greenberg told Sydney radio 2KY.

"For me it's been encouraging that they've understood the order of the court and they will abide by it until such time as we have a discussion, which is important."

Asked what the settlement could include, Greenberg said: "There could be a range of things and that will probably unfold over the next week or so when we open some dialogue with them.

"I'm not sure where this will head, but certainly it's a different step for NRL clubs, probably a different step for Australian sport."

Williams had intended to line up in the centres for Toulon at their home ground on the Cote d'Azur but was instead forced to watched his side lose 19-12 from the stands alongside boxing champion and mate Anthony Mundine.

If the 23-year-old had played, he risked being found in contempt of court as well as possible arrest, a jail sentence and the seizure of his Australian assets, including his $1 million Sydney home.

"It is a good sign for us," Greenberg said.

"I suppose it's the first development that shows both Sonny Bill and Toulon have recognised that any order of the Supreme Court is not something that you can take lightly.

"It is a serious piece of legislation and he should act accordingly, which he has done and that's a pleasing sign.

"It's also important in that it shows can't ignore it (the injunction), irrelevant of where you are in the world.

"It does have significant ramifications.

"So people who say that contracts aren't worth the piece of paper they're written on, I think this sends a very clear message that if you've got a contract and breach it, and the supreme court then has a look at that, then you've got some ramifications."

Toulon's offer comes less than a week after Mourad refused to acknowledge the NSW Supreme Court order banning his star recruit from playing.

Williams, who left the Bulldogs last month despite having four years left on his contract, made his debut for Toulon last weekend in the club's first pre-season friendly against second tier team Carqueiranne-Hyeres. He was reportedly served with the injunction after the match.

Williams joined Toulon on a one-year contract, with an option of a second, in a deal reportedly worth about $2 million.

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