Williams extends contract to coach Port - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Williams extends contract to coach Port

22/07/2009 05:24:01 PM Comments (0)

Mark Williams' contract saga finally staggered to its conclusion on Wednesday, with the Port Adelaide coach admitting a controversial June 30 clause had been more trouble than it was worth.

After re-signing with the Power until the end of 2011, Williams said the stipulation that Port's board had to offer him a new deal by June 30 or leave him to seek other offers had ultimately worked against him.

In doing so it had helped create an atmosphere of unease around the club's Alberton headquarters that has detracted markedly from Port's 2009 on-field campaign, which remains delicately balanced on the fringes of the AFL top eight.

"I would say with that June 30th thing, geez it's really hard being a coach if it goes right down to the wire," Williams said on Wednesday, departing from his earlier defence of the clause.

"It is really difficult to handle both things at the same time, so that actually works against the coach at that time I would say.

"I suppose when it was initially done you might've hoped that it was before June 30th then it wouldn't have mattered, but looking back on it and having lived through it, it's a pretty tough time for both the coach and the club."

There is no mention of an early deadline on the new contract, which features a significant pay cut - thought to shrink Williams' annual salary from $800,000 to around $500,000 - as well as numerous terms related to behaviour and performance.

Williams said he had not actually read the fine print of the deal until last Thursday, and when he did agreed fully with what had been put in place.

"Last Tuesday was the first time I actually sat down with (chief executive) Mark Haysman and went through line-by-line what exactly the contract was trying to get to," Williams said.

"Having had that all explained I'm really happy with it."

According to Williams, the deal was as much about seeing out the long-term plans put in place in 2006 as it was about loyalty to the Alberton club, which was moulded largely in the image of his legendary father, Fos.

Haysman expressed his displeasure at much of the scuttlebutt surrounding the contract negotiations, some of which had emanated from Williams' brother-in-law Mark Ralfe.

"There's been a hell of a lot of speculation and that's been disappointing, a lot of it's been a long way from the truth, that's the reality of it," Haysman said.

"I think certainly we'll be looking at (the timing), it's been a busy time for all of us at the club and I think we've done a good job to get it all done and still be in a place where we're on an even balance on the ledger.

"With the showdown this week the opportunity to still play in finals is well and truly there."

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