Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has ruled out a switch to the Penrith Panthers by declaring he intends to see out his contract with the joint venture.
Cleary held a press conference this morning where he read out a brief statement but refused to answer questions about rugby league’s hottest issue.
He has a contract with the Tigers until the end of the 2021 season but has been the subject of speculation this week that he could seek a release in order to re-join Penrith.
“I’ve been very disappointed with the amount of misinformation surrounding myself and my family this week,” Cleary said.
“When I was approached by the Panthers, initially I had no idea it was about coaching their club. I was told at that meeting that the club were looking at the future of the head coaching position.
“I was as surprised as anyone on the announcement of the dismissal of Anthony Griffin.
“I have not received any offer from the Panthers nor have I asked the Wests Tigers for a release. I am enjoying my contribution at this club.”
Cleary said he felt “privileged” to be part of the Tigers’ journey and respects the contract he has with the club.
“I respect all of the people and supporters involved with this club and I intend to honour this contract,” he said.
“It is common knowledge that my son Nathan and I have acknowledged our desire to work together at some time. That remains the case.”
Cleary would only answer questions relating to the Tigers’ match against Canberra tomorrow.
Cameron Ciraldo is currently in a caretaker coaching role at Penrith after the sacking of Anthony Griffin on Monday.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.