July 14, 2024

‘Worst contract ever negotiated’: Manly’s Schuster deal slammed as exiled star’s exit made official

Manly’s decision to re-sign Josh Schuster on a big-money deal last season has been declared the “worst contract ever negotiated” as the club have on Wednesday confirmed his exit.

The Sea Eagles and Schuster will now part ways, with the club releasing a statement which said the back rower will “explore other opportunities in his career”.

“Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have today mutually agreed to release second-rower Josh Schuster from the final three years of his contract,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Manly chief executive Tony Mestrov said: “Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out for both parties in the end.


“Josh now needs time to focus on himself and what is best for him moving forward.

“We all know Josh is a very talented player and we hope that he can find a new club soon. We wish him well.”

The Sea Eagles will reportedly have to pay out the 22-year-old close to $1 million after confirming his departure.

Schuster inked a three-year extension in June last year said to be worth $800,000-a-season, which reportedly included pre-season weight clauses.

It’s understood the second-rower reached a career-low of 112 kilograms over the summer before his fitness once again slumped after a bout of chickenpox before Christmas.

A broken finger and calf injury also disrupted his training, forcing him to miss Round 1 and then make his return via New South Wales Cup.

Earlier this month he was informed by Sea Eagles officials that he was free to leave the club immediately if he can find a new club. He was then granted indefinite personal leave.

That has now escalated to a contract termination, which is set to be sealed in the coming days.

But as part of the mutual agreement he will receive a $1 million payout that “averages out to be $250,000 this year and the next three years,” according to News Corp journalist Brent Read.

While appearing on NRL 360, Read also added: “It’s crucial to know, all that goes on Manly’s cap is the $250,000, no more. If he signs somewhere else it doesn’t matter. It’s a mutual termination, all that Manly carry is that settlement year for the next three years.”


NRL 360 host Braith Anasta said in response: “So it’s a great deal? Or is it the worst deal ever done by a footy club in the game?”

Read conceded “it’s probably on the podium (for worst deals)… but the way they’ve finished they’ve done well to negotiate their way out of it.”

Anasta wasn’t buying it though and was critical of Manly’s decision to re-sign Schuster on big money in the first place.

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