Leigh suspend Brierley

Leigh Centurions have suspended Ryan Brierley after sensationally claiming he has been offered a deal by Championship rivals Bradford.

Reports surfaced on Thursday night that Brierley had activated a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave the club in four weeks.

The club have consistently stated the clause is unenforceable, although they have admitted that it is in the contract.

However, in the latest twist, the club have claimed that owner Derek Beaumont was informed by Neil Jukes that Brierley had been offered a deal with Bradford, before going on to say Brierley agreed to stay if his contract was improved.

In the statement, the club went on to confirm that Brierley had given them four weeks notice.

The statement read: “It is extremely concerning to again see confidential and sensitive information surrounding Leigh Centurions appearing in the public domain, particularly when it continually centres on Ryan Brierley.

“It can be confirmed that Ryan Brierley emailed the Board of Directors on Monday evening, 29th February 2016 purporting to give four weeks’ notice to terminate his contract with the club.

“The Board responded to Ryan Brierley as we have previously done by outlining our position that we do not believe the alleged clause to be enforceable and confirming that he is contracted to the club until 30th November 2016.

“As the matter is being dealt with by the club’s legal advisors the club will not be commenting further on this.

“However, we can confirm that the club will explore all legal avenues to protect its interests which, if necessary, will include taking legal action against Ryan Brierley and any associated third party.”

“On Tuesday 1st March 2016 (Leigh Centurions head coach) Neil Jukes informed club owner Derek Beaumont that he had spoken to Ryan Brierley to ascertain his reasons for purporting to invoke the alleged clause, given he had continually stated privately and in public that he was committed to Leigh Centurions until the end of 2016 and wanted to achieve Super League with the club.

“Derek was informed by Neil that Ryan Brierley stated another Championship Club (named by Ryan Brierley as Bradford Bulls) had made him a lucrative offer until the end of the season and that he would then be a free agent. However, should his contract be increased by £15,000 then he would consider staying.”