Top Dog: Greenberg lays down law after mad week
In control ... Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg. Photo: Supplied
BULLDOGS chief executive Todd Greenberg says he's still in charge at Canterbury. Not Des Hasler. Not anyone else. To prove it, he has and will come down hard on players and staff who had a role in the club's disastrous post-grand final episode.
The Herald has been told that, on top of the $30,000 ''contribution'' the club agreed to pay to charity following the offensive comments at the Bulldogs' Mad Monday celebrations, players and staff still face club sanctions, which are likely to include fines as part of an internal review already under way. Greenberg remains angry at the behaviour by some individuals at the club.
The Bulldogs boss has been criticised amid a week of negative publicity around the club - from the infamous Mad Monday drinking session to the James Graham biting suspension - for failing to take stronger action. Many, including the Herald, have suggested Hasler has been allowed to have too much power and influence at the club since his appointment as coach. But Greenberg said he was still very much in charge - and added that Hasler would agree.
''That doesn't have any basis,'' Greenberg said. ''I was very clear at the beginning that our coach is in charge of the football program, and Des has done a wonderful job in that regard. My responsibility is to run the business and the club. No doubt there are some issues, like media access, which we debate, but those sorts of debates are healthy. We're both very clear on our responsibilities. Des would be the first to say that [he is in charge]. This week, I've been the spokesman, because it's a club-wide issue. When we're talking about football, or any related issues, the coach will speak.
''And despite what's happened, we're running a good, strong commercial operation.''
While Greenberg did not wish to say exactly what sanctions players and staff might face, he confirmed a review was under way in light of the infamous celebrations that resulted in Channel Nine airing vulgar comments the network maintained were aimed at a female reporter.
''We will be doing a very thorough internal debrief,'' Greenberg said. ''That process is under way. People need to be assured that we are taking this very seriously. We will review the entire operations around the post-grand final and our Monday. We thought we had a pretty good plan for 2012, but obviously we didn't get it all right. We need to make sure we learn from this experience, and make sure we get it right in the future.''
Prop Sam Kasiano, who will make his Test debut for New Zealand in Townsville on Saturday night, is one player who faces possible sanctions. While it is understood he made one of the controversial remarks - ''I want to punch you in the face'' - which he claims was directed at centre Josh Morris, he is not believed to have been responsible for the other comments.
Greenberg said it had not yet been decided where the $30,000 donation would be directed. One possibility is Camp Quality, the children's cancer charity that had been considering its future with the club since the comments surfaced.
Camp Quality chief executive Simon Rountree confirmed yesterday the organisation would stand by the Dogs. ''Camp Quality has met with the Bulldogs to discuss their recent issues, and we are satisfied with both the NRL and the Bulldogs' response to the matter,'' Rountree said. ''Over the past four years our partnership has supported hundreds of children living with cancer and their families throughout Australia, and our continuing partnership will enable us to create a better life for every child living with cancer.''
Greenberg said he hoped the recent turmoil would be placed in the context of the entire year. ''This season has been a landmark one, with three minor premierships, the club championship and record-breaking home ground attendances, as well as the contribution to the local community, which exceeded all of our expectations,'' he said. ''I'd like to think that people will judge our season not on the past week but on the whole year.''