Craig Bellamy ... remaining tight-lipped about his future with the Melbourne Storm. Photo: Getty Images
SHOULD I stay or should I go?
Craig Bellamy has been in charge of the Melbourne Storm for 10 seasons, and he is keeping tight-lipped about his future as fresh rumours suggest he will become the subject of a multimillion-dollar bidding war for his services.
Bellamy sought to deflect attention from suggestions he could be headed across the Tasman, lured by a big-money offer from the Warriors, by making it a humorous aside when he faced the media yesterday.
''Apparently I am going to earn all this money if I go over the ditch,'' he quipped, playing down suggestions that these sorts of stories were not a distraction to him or his team as they bid for a spot in the top two to give them a home final. ''It could be worse and no one would want you … but I just take it with a grain of salt. It's part of the game, speculation about players, coaches.''
But, speaking seriously, the coach, who turns 53 just after the grand final, made his position clear: He will focus on the finals, and then consider his options.
''I don't see it as an issue. I have made it pretty clear that I have got another year to coach here and I won't be making any decisions on that until at least the end of the year.
''Its not a distraction for me, and none of the players have said anything. I doubt it will be.''
The Storm hierarchy would be loath to lose the man who has guided the club to such success and steered it through such turbulent times, and the club has made it clear they want him to remain in Victoria. Bellamy was, however, less than pleased the new TV deal would leave State of Origin as a midweek fixture and said the extra cash generated from broadcast rights should be used to help clubs develop bigger playing rosters.
''I am disappointed and a few players have shown their disappointment. I have had my say for a fair while about it … I think it's pretty unfair on the players.
''We all love Origin, but the one thing we don't want to see is our supporters, sponsors and clubs hoping their players don't get selected for Origin just because it affects the club and the team at a pretty important time of the year.''
''I would imagine all players will be looking at a pay rise, but the guys I would like to see benefit are the guys at the bottom of your 25.''