Isn't life funny. Everyone has worked themselves into a lather over the Kirk Reynoldson affair when the solution to this problem is staring us in the face! Michael Hagan. Having brought Reynoldson to Newcastle, and one would assume was complicit in the implementation of the controversial clause in his contract which has created all the kerfuffle, the now Parramatta coach must surely do the honourable thing and snaffle up his former charge for season 2008. And to ease the financial burden, l feel certain that the Knights would contribute upwards of $50,000, leaving the Eels with a shortfall of a mere $150,000 to make up, give or take a dollar. I'd be only too happy to broker the deal at no cost to either party and hey presto, everyone including yours truly ends up with that warm and fuzzy feeling all of us constantly seek.
But nah, it's been nothing but a deafening silence from Mr Hagan who rather curiously has escaped any criticism over this entire unhappy saga. Gee, I would have thought a diligent News Limited journo would have latched onto this angle by now. Still time boys, oh and girls, can't forget the cerebral Rebecca Wilson, whose contributions on this topic have been the stuff of Walkleys...not.
I would love to personally get Hagan's response to my recommendation on how to resolve the Reynoldson issue. But given the time that's elapsed since the story broke and he hasn't said "boo" or been asked to say "boo", he's unlikely to want to share his thoughts with someone who rates him as Queensland's worst ever coach and who's of the firm belief that his contribution to Newcastle's 2001 premiership, would have been of a minor nature. Such statements do not exactly endear myself to Mr Hagan. In no way is it personal. These are my opinions and observations based on the evidence as I see it.
So we can take it that Parramatta's zero interest in Reynoldson suggests that it agrees with the Newcastle club, that the bearded backrower isn't worth $200,000 for season 2008. Their evaluation of where he sits in the market place would most likely come in below such a figure. But the Eels and the Knights wouldn't be by themselves in their appraisal of Reynoldson. I'd reckon if you surveyed all sixteen clubs, there would not be one willing to part with $200,000 for a player that's pushing thirty and who doesn't bring a great deal to the table at NRL level.
I don't necessarily share the opinion of former international Peter Tunks, who likened Reynoldson's form to that of Jim Beam Cup standard. A bit harsh but probably not a long way from the truth. If you were to make a real estate analogy, and put Reynoldson up for public auction, a realistic reserve price would be around the $90,000 mark with a vendor bid, which in this case is the Newcastle club, at around the $80,000 level. For the uninitiated, the vendor bid is a figure not far below what you would be willing to accept. Such a bid can only be made once and must be revealed at the time it is submitted. The vendor is not obligated to exercise this right.
Penrith, Canberra and North Queensland have emerged as clubs who would sign Reynoldson, but the money they are talking isn't in the same postcode as the $200,000 jackpot that the Knights must fork out if he plays one more first grade game. Panthers general manager Mick Leary summed it up best when he said his club would accommodate Reynoldson "if we get him at the right price". Basically he's after a bargain buy and that's fair enough. In the cut and thrust of professional sport, clubs are duty-bound to be fiscally responsible.
What about the latest attack on Brian Smith by the Daily Bellylaugh (AKA Daily Telegraph). The backpage of Friday's edition (24-7-07) carried the damning headline: "Brian cost me $2 million", which talked about the financial losses incurred by advertising guru John Singleton, in regards to the launch of his beer in the Hunter region using three players in the advertising campaign who aren't going to be with the club in 2008.
But instead of directing his wrath at Smith and the Knights club, Singo should be conducting an internal investigation as to which member of his marketing team was responsible for choosing three run-of-the-mill first graders in Clint Newton, Adam Woolnough and Kirk Reynoldson to appear in the commercials, when there were superior candidates in Kurt Gidley, Steve Simpson and Jarrod Mullen, who played in this year's State of Origin series and are signed with the Knights long term. I dare say such a flawed decision is certain to be met with severe consequences. And rightly so