YES, you read that headline completely correct!
There have been many wild stories from various rugby league players that almost seem untrue – unless they come from the horse’s mouth directly.
Well one such story features former Salford Red Devils and St Helens forward Mark Flanagan who, on the recent Out Of Your League Super League podcast, admitted that when his contract was running out at Salford, him and his cousin made up a rumour that he was signing for Castleford Tigers in a bid to bump up the contract offer from Salford.
Amazingly, it worked!
Flanagan, who made 87 appearances for Saints and 111 for Salford, said: “They (Salford) said ‘Mark you’ve got your contract coming up at the end of the season’ and they offered me two years.
“I thought I was playing quite well, starting every week, contributing a lot and I thought I want a bit more money. So I said ‘I want x amount of money and I want a three year deal’ and they said no way.
“So I realised that nobody else probably wanted me but I thought a bit of competition would drive the price up. So my cousin and I in a pub in Oldham decided to spread a rumour that I was going to sign for Castleford.
“My cousin signed up to this fans forum and spread the rumour: “just seen Mark Flanagan down Wheldon Road signing a contract. Next week it’s in the papers that I’m signing for Cas.”
Here comes the crunch bit!: “Salford got wind and and they said ‘right we will give you more money but for two years’. I said I wanted three years. They said I was 30 in a few months and that they don’t give three year deals out for over 30s.
“I said Junior Sau had just been given a three-year contract two weeks after turning 30 and they said ‘oh alright then!'”
What a remarkable story.