One wonders what NRL Clubs thought when confronted with the fact that one of the wisest and most successful coaches going around in Wayne Bennett decides to release Ben Barba from the remaining two years of his contract with the Brisbane Broncos.
Like me, smart clubs would have ignored the fact that Barba was on the market.
Not the Cronulla Sharks though, or a number of other clubs for that matter who all showed an interest in the full back once Bennett gave Barba his marching orders.
Forget for the moment that the club from the Shire will be his third team in three years or that Barba had a really ordinary season for the Broncos in 2014 or that the Broncos were so eager to rid themselves of Barba that they were prepared to pay half his salary with his new team or that the player has self confessed gambling and alcohol problems or that he failed to complete a rehabilitation course ordered by Canterbury in 2013.
But return if you will to season 2013, when Barba was in a Canterbury jersey. For those with short memories, he was released on compassionate grounds from the balance of his contract at the end of that season and was headed to the Broncos because of their well regarded welfare program. The catalyst for the release on that occasion was an alleged incident where Barba struck a female companion.
One would have thought the lessons of history would have taught Cronulla well given the union with the troubled Todd Carney that ended in tears.
And all this for $800,000.00 per season – As I said ….. some clubs never learn.
16 October 2011 223.2 Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk about the Socceroos and their 3-0 win againt Oman and says all Australia need is a point from their remaining games to qualify for the next round of World Cup qualifiers. He is full of praise for Holger Osieck and also reviews the other Asian Group standings. Mark looks at the A League and the Professor asks how long before the Melbourne Victory coach is under pressure. Mark says if Victory don’t beat Heart it will be a disastrous start to the season. Daniel talks basketball and the Professor takes him to task about how One HD are selecting the games. He feels decisions are made on a financial basis because it must be cheaper to go to Townsville than Perth. The Panel talk about the poor television ratings for the NBL while Sportzfan Stan discusses the benefit that Mills has given to the sport whilst he has been here. The Gelding compares the amount of newspaper columns given to all sports and decides basketball gets less coverage than rugby and soccer. The Professor asks Paul Dalligan where Todd Carney will land as it has been rumored he is being chased by at least four teams. Paul previews the Australia v New Zealand rugby league match predicting a close game but an Australian win. He also comments on Tim Tebow starting at QB for his Denver Broncos. The Panel talk about the big clash in the World Cup semi final between the Wallabies and New Zealand. The Panel unanimously select the Wallabies. To round off the show the Panel discuss AFL trade week and Casey Stoner winning the motorcycle GP.
24 April 2011 199.2 – Mark Fiorenti also looks at the mathematical possibilities of Melbourne Victory and Sydney in making the knockout round of the Asians Champions League. He says Arsenal’s mediocre recent form with two draws seems to have finished its Premier League run. Sportzfan Stan believes Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger should be sacked. The Panel talk with Southern Football League CEO, Wayne Holdsworth about Jason Akermanis playing as a ‘gun for hire’ in local leagues and whether it is a good thing for football at grass roots level. Drugs in sport also raises its head again with Alberto Contador still cycling notwithstanding he has been found guilty of returning a positive test to clenbutrenol. He has lodged an appeal with the Courts of Arbitration for Sport and can ride pending the appeal. Sportzfan Stan says it is an outrage. Paul Dalligan comes on the show to talk rugby league and this week’s round of matches. He goes out on a limb and selects the Roosters to beat the Dragons 16-12. He discusses the off field trouble that Todd Carney and Anthony Watts have found themselves in and says it is a massive blow for the Roosters. Sean Callanan talks sports digital and Essendonfc will use a fan cam tomorrow to take a panoramic digital picture of the crowd at tomorrow’s Anzac Day game. He also discusses new teams strategies to draw in fans especially for the new 20/20 franchises, the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder. Don’t forget next week is the 200th Sportzfan Radio show.