I wonder how all this tension would’ve panned out had Sonny Bill Williams returned from a five year absence to the team he left in the first place?
According to an article in The Australian, Nick Politis said the Bulldogs made an approach to the second-rower to return o the very club he had to pay $750,000 to leave in the first place.
In the same article Dogs CEO Todd Greenberg denied they made the approach and again reiterated that the club had moved on since his departure.
It would’ve been very interesting to see what the reaction would’ve been had he indeed returned to Belmore. Would the fans welcome him back, or instead turn on Greenberg? Would players such as Hazem El Masri — who has been very vocal in his displeasure at SBW’s return — welcome him back, or rubbish the club for daring to sign the guy that left them in a lurch?
For what it’s worth, Todd Greenberg said SBW has paid his dues and is glad that SBW has returned to the game that made him.
Perhaps its time Bulldogs fans do the same thing. After all, a lot of real shit has gone down in five years.
We can all understand the anger, but in the time since he departed we saw a Prime Minister stabbed in the back, Osama Bin Laden was killed and a bunch of Tsunamis and cyclones have devastated various parts of the globe.
It’s been half a decade. Five years.
Can’t we all just get along?
From The Australian:
SYDNEY Roosters chairman Nick Politis has reignited tensions with Canterbury after claiming the Bulldogs made a failed attempt to lure Sonny Bill Williams back to Belmore during his NRL exile.
The comments could fuel tensions between the two clubs before Friday night’s highly anticipated match at Allianz Stadium, which will be the first time Williams has faced Canterbury since walking out on the club in 2008.
It was Politis who lured Williams back to the code on the strength of a handshake deal but the Roosters chairman claimed he faced competition from the Bulldogs after directors made an approach without the knowledge of chief executive Todd Greenberg.
For this reason, Politis maintains the Bulldogs have forgiven Williams despite former chairman George Peponis telling The Weekend Australian he was still bitter over the way their former star player had left them.
“This is the irony of it. Everyone keeps talking about it but the Bulldogs tried to get him back as well,” Politis said.
“They put the feelers out there a year or two ago for him to go back, a couple of the guys on the board.
“They would have loved to have him back. Imagine what he would have done if he went back to the Bulldogs – to their side and to their club and to their crowds.
“So when you asked me the question have they moved on … of course they have.”
There were reports earlier this year that the Bulldogs had tried to lure Williams back to Belmore, which were denied immediately by Greenberg. He repeated his position yesterday.
“There wasn’t (an approach),” Greenberg said.
“There might have been people thinking it was a good headline or something nice to happen.
“But the decisions he made back in 2008 I think will forever be cast that he is not going come back and play for the Bulldogs.
“I am certainly happy to see him back in rugby league.
“As I said, Nick and the Roosters should be congratulated for finding a way to get him back.”