Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen is still waiting to have his contract extended beyond this season for just one more year, but fears that his loyalty to the only club has ever played for, may amount to nothing as the club opts to be more business-like in it’s operations.
The 33-year-old Gallen made his debut with the Sharks in 2001 and has now played 247 games for the club, 19 State of Origin games for NSW and 31 Tests for Australia.
Gallen was all but granted his extension at the end of last season with then CEO Steve Noyce, who later left the club and was replaced by Lyle Gorman, an astute sports businessman.
“At the end of the day, they’re treating it as a business. For me, I’ve always treated this club very personally,” said Gallen when asked about the negotiations.
“I look at the times I could have gone to more successful clubs for more money but I stayed because I love the place. Now they come and treat it like a business now. I’ve missed my run to treat it like a business now.”
During Gallen’s last contract negotiations he turned down a larger offer from Manly to stay loyal to Cronulla.
“I want to stay at the club and I’m not asking for a two-year contract, I’m not asking for anything longer than a one-year extension.”
Gallen has also entertained the idea that he may not be with his beloved Sharks next year, suggesting that a move to the Superleague could be a real possibility.
“I’ve got another couple of years in me, I want to go overseas and experience that while I’m still playing well.”