Halifax have knocked back Batley’s claims that they have signed Dane Manning, by insisting that he is still contracted with the club.
The Bulldogs announced the signing of the Halifax back-rower on Thursday evening at a fans forum with new head coach Matt Diskin.
Manning, who has spent the last five seasons at Fax, was under contract at Halifax until the end of 2017, but the Bulldogs claimed on Twitter that he had signed on a two-year deal. The tweet has since been deleted.
News of Manning’s departure had caused unrest among Fax fans, who took to social media to express their frustrations at the loss of their star forward.
However, the club has now shot down Batley’s claims that they have signed the player, insisting he has not left the club, although they have confirmed that he has requested to leave.
Halifax’s playing squad had been asked to take a pay reduction following their inability to make the top four last year, with the club confirming that Manning was the only player who refused to do so.
The statement reads: “Contrary to recent speculation, Halifax RLFC would like to stress that Dane Manning is still contracted to the club.
“However, in the light of the agreement of the vast majority to accept a reduction in contract payments to be compensated, only, upon achievement of a top four finish, Dane Manning has confirmed that he does not see a future at Halifax RLFC.”
Fax’s head coach Richard Marshall also sent a plea to the fans, telling the club’s supporters to support the players that had remained “loyal” to the club.
“After having a meeting with the players, all of them but one, Dane Manning, have taken a voluntary 10% pay cut to their playing wages, recognising the consequence of a very disappointing 2016.
“Dane has requested to leave and has been in conversation about leaving the club over the past 72 hours.
“We have done everything in our power to persuade Dane to stay, including offering him an extra year on his contract.
“Dane has been a standout performer for Halifax during my time here – but he was adamant that he would not be playing his rugby at Halifax in 2017.
“In the light of those conversations, I had to make a judgement call regarding Dane and it looks like he will be leaving us.
“I would like to stress that no player is bigger than the club and I would urge fans to focus on those who have chosen to stay and remain loyal to the club and its values.
“The rest of the squad are fully on board and looking forward to the new season and in truth we feel this situation has galvanised the squad and made them even tighter.”