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Raiders speechless, disappointed at Ferguson

Blake Ferguson.

Blake Ferguson. Photo: Michael Carayannis

Canberra Raiders chairman John McIntyre says the club intends to stand by disgraced Origin star Blake Ferguson and there are no plans to sack him.

The key element that's got to come out of it in the end has got to be support for this young bloke. 

It's understood Ferguson has returned to Canberra and is meeting with coach David Furner on Tuesday afternoon.

The Raiders had indicated that the Raiders board would meet either Tuesday or Wednesday to decide Ferguson's fate, after he was charged with indecent assault and suspended by the NRL.

But McIntyre said the board would not meet and had unanimously agreed to a rehabilitation plan to keep Ferguson at the club.

Asked if the Raiders would stand by Ferguson, McIntyre said: "We certainly will ... That attitude has been reflected unanimously by the board."

"We've got ourselves into a position which has got to be discussed with the NRL, the coach and the senior leadership group.

"I sent my thoughts around to the board via email today and they've responded.

"At this point of time I've got no comment other than to say I'm speechless. You cannot believe the amount of disappointment and it’s not just me, it's everybody involved in the Raiders.

"The key element that's got to come out of it in the end has got to be support for this young bloke."

Ferguson was almost sacked by the Raiders after going on a drinking binge with then teammate Josh Dugan after the round one loss to Penrith.

Dugan was axed, but there are elements of the Raiders administration that are unhappy Dugan was able to find a new home at the Dragons so easily and has been rewarded with a call up to the NSW Origin team.

Dugan was drinking with Ferguson at the time of the alleged indecent assault, which occurred at a Cronulla bar.

While the Raiders are extremely disappointed and are set to impose a heavy penalty on Ferguson, they see little value in sacking a star player when the likelihood is he will be picked up by a rival club.

Raider statement

The Raiders released a statement on Tuesday morning saying they supported the actions of the NRL in regard to standing Blake Ferguson down from Origin after he was charged with indecent assault.

"We recognise this process is going to involve discussions with the NRL and also the need for the club to continue to send a strong message in this area," Raiders CEO Don Furner said.

"We have been in constant consultation with the NRL integrity unit and will continue to work with them to determine the best course of action for Blake, the Raiders and the NRL.

"There are steps which need to be taken before an outcome can be reached and we will aim to resolve the situation as soon as we can for our members, sponsors and supporters.

"The club is also conscious of its responsibilities to the player and will continue to provide the appropriate level of support and counselling for Blake."

The Raiders have sacked five players for alcohol-related indiscretions since 2006, including axing fullback Josh Dugan - who was drinking with Ferguson when the alleged incident happened on Sunday night.

81 comments

  • Good Move JR, no ones angry, we're just disappointed.

    Commenter
    Maty
    Date and time
    June 18, 2013, 2:18PM
    • In 2009 Brett Stewart was falsely accused of a groping assault. He was completely innocent and was found to be the victim of well-known fraudster who was the father of the female in question. Steward was completely exonerated in court. The SMH posted the full story a year or 2 ago.

      Blake Ferguson is similarly completely innocent at this point in time.

      Commenter
      jg
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      June 18, 2013, 3:12PM
    • Folks are dumb where I come from!

      Commenter
      Andy
      Date and time
      June 18, 2013, 4:49PM
    • jg you're forgetting the bit about him lying about where he was going that night. Unless, of course, his family was at the nightclub, too.

      Commenter
      Wysiwyg Sydney
      Date and time
      June 18, 2013, 7:24PM
    • He may well be innocent of the assault but he is sure the hell guilty of lying to the Raiders and for groging on with Dugan which is contray to his "last chance" conditions.

      Commenter
      Jimmy
      Date and time
      June 18, 2013, 8:38PM
  • SOFT SOFT SOFT SOFT. One more chance and you're out? Raiders board are weak cats.

    Commenter
    Bob the Beard
    Location
    Canbberra
    Date and time
    June 18, 2013, 2:22PM
    • Yeah they are weak, they've never sacked players for misbehavior before!!

      Commenter
      Jet813
      Date and time
      June 18, 2013, 3:11PM
    • Bob the Beard, your facial hair is obviously growing into your brain. Unlike most other NRL club boards the Raiders have shown strength when it has been necessary to sack a player. However, in this case they appear to be also showing some understanding that Blake Ferguson is a young man who needs help and is worth helping. We have all made mistakes as young men and women and sometimes they have been severe. Rather than sitting back and mindlessly criticising put yourselves in the young man's shoes and think how you would like to be treated.

      Commenter
      Brisraider
      Location
      Queensland
      Date and time
      June 18, 2013, 5:18PM
  • So if he's found guilty of indecent assault, the raiders keep him?

    Commenter
    Noodles
    Date and time
    June 18, 2013, 2:34PM
    • And if isn't they made the best choice for the club - accused/charged in the eyes of the law is not the same as guilty in the court of public opinion. It's not even guilty in the eyes of the law.

      Commenter
      Tired Camel
      Date and time
      June 18, 2013, 3:36PM

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