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graham53 -well said. Common sense at last.
Posted 21:07 18th August 2012
As 5Lock4ward as pointed out, seems this club has a record of dodgie deals.
Posted 09:50 18th August 2012
@Lawynd No evidence Shepherd played down an injury?? I hope you are right.
Posted 09:17 18th August 2012
The "business issue" doesn't add up. It's unacceptable in business too. If I interview for a job win it sign a contract pack my stuff up to move house move my family book flights I'm going to take them to court and get the difference between one year at Sale and three years at Saints and for huge upset to life of myself and family. Manchester is not Northampton. I don't think the Sale job should even count against him in the settlement. If Sale win prem and HC and Saints get relegated he still has a solid case from what we've seen so far.
Posted 09:00 18th August 2012
Jediboy - there is no guarantee for a car or a player that they wont breakdown on the first run or last 10 years with no problem. Anyone in rugby knew that Shepherd has been injured often and so should have the club. Looks like they got cold feet after signing the contract. That's poor business skills and a lawyer might make some money there - even if Sheppard doesn't?
He is a fine player so I hope he has an injury free season at Sale.
Posted 06:42 18th August 2012
The whole issue of Saints cancelling Shepherd's contract has brought out some very unpleasant comments about the club which are based upon news articles that do not tell the whole story - only Saints & Shepherd know that at the moment. How about we wait for a court decision or something similar before we drag out the firing squad.
Posted 04:48 18th August 2012
Your points are all valid about the business side of it and how the Saints had the right to terminate the contract. The only reason I look at it suspiciously is b/c they did the same thing w/ Van Niekerk in the past and proved to be wrong.
@NHSaints, Sure Manoa didn't HAVE to take the contract but could you imagine a player from an established rugby nation being forced to make that choice? And why is no clear answer provided as to why he wasn't available during this summer tour? He signed a new contract and the IRB states a player must be made available during regular test windows.
@Jediboy, I don't know if I agree that the Saints had better props. I think it's a combination of the fact that they had top notch props (Brian Mujati at the time) combined w/ the fact that Murray informed the club regarding his desire to not play on Sundays.
Posted 01:11 18th August 2012
The only issue I have with this is if the claims that Shepard's agent made, only notified three days before departure with his family are true. Otherwise it is normal practise in the professional game, we will never hear the truth, so speak on the pitch Shepard and make them regret it or not!
Posted 23:59 17th August 2012
It'll be interesting to see if Shepprd does pursue any legal action. Or when the dust settles will he just let it go when he realises its pointless? As I recall, Saracens didn't pursue any legal action over the Tonga'huia saga despite threatening too (I think I'm right in saying this).
I think that part of the reason Murray went was because he wasnt first choice anymore. Saints had better props.
But coming back to Sheppard, if an injury has been discovered then it makes sense to cancel the contract. If you agreed to buy a car, but then found out it was always breaking down, you would buy it would you???
Posted 20:29 17th August 2012
@NHsaints - glad to see someone acknowledging that this is a business issue (you could call it employment or risk issue too, but ultimately they are the same thing). As long as Northampton have obtained an appropriate assessment, then there really isn't much of a case here. I am puzzled why anyone would pursue the case, unless the medical decision is surprising (extremely surprising).
If this results in a medical debate, then there's no point in Shepherd pursuing this. It isn't winnable.
Most likely there is a need to examine the specific clause in relation to fitness. I'd expect there to be a payment required if a contract had already been signed, unless there was only a provisional contract in place.
I trust both parties agree to show us the relevant contractual clause and the medical information. Wouldn't it be nice for people to be trasparent!
Posted 18:45 17th August 2012
This is a hard one to call but I don't think people appreciate what Northampton are doing here...they're run as a business, by businessmen (financially speaking) and they are one of the clubs that turn out the largest profits annually from the ticket and merchandise sales and have very little money pumped into them compared to some clubs...if they feel like they were being done over by shepherd who is most definitely unfit at the minute then they are within their rights to terminate the contract, especially if there was a contract clause (which it seems is likely) for doing so. Everyone knows Shepherd is past his sellby date and unlikely to regain both fitness and form for the coming season. Then take into account that they've built a squad of internationals from low budget signings and not big SR or international names and mix it all together and suddenly (at least to me) it seems that they are justified in letting him go. On the subject of manoa; yes he was forced to choose professionalism over playing for his country but bear in mind NH had Foden, Ashton, Hartley, Lawes, Wood, Tonguiha, Pisi ect away at the world cup and Samu was brought in to cover back row and second row absences then it makes perfect sense...afterall, he didn't HAVE to take the contract.
Posted 15:27 17th August 2012
@ArmchairGeneral - I don't have much comment on this story, because it sounds like both parties are in the wrong - Shepherd downplayed the ankle instead of being honest, Northampton didn't pull their finger out and get the medical stuff done quickly enough. I will say though that I don't think the club were wrong to release Murray, although it could be argued they knew what they were signing. I occasionally have to work weekends and I suspect my employer would take a dim view of me telling them that Sunday is 'the lord's day'.
Posted 14:16 17th August 2012
surely, though, if the club are not sure of a player's fitness, they are right to pull the plug on the deal...if, as the article states, it was a generous 3 year contract, then they have every right to get their value for money from him?...flip side is that some of Northampton's player management skills have not been seen in the best of light over the last few seasons...
Posted 14:15 17th August 2012
interesting seems they have form.
Posted 14:10 17th August 2012
Typical 2 faced hypocritical liars Northampton are!
Posted 12:48 17th August 2012
Agree 5lock4: and letting go of Euan reading between the lines because he doesn't play on Sunday. Hard ball management is ok provided rugbys great principles of doing what's right comes first... Winning second. Otherwise karma's goin to get ya as those rugby spirits can influence the bounce of an oval ball.
Posted 12:32 17th August 2012
From what I understand Northampton home games are the greatest rugby available in terms of the crowd's respect for the game; which to me means they have the best fans. That said I see a rather disturbing trend from the Saints management. First they get rid of Joe Van Niekerk claiming he had a back problem. Big Joe goes on to Toulon where he's been in rampaging form ever since. Then Euan Murray is not released to join up with the Lions squad in time for the pre tour gathering like every other Lion from every other team was. Then the Saints sign Samu Manoa from the USA and force him to decide between going pro and representing his country at the RWC, also shady circumstances surrounding his non-availability for this passed summer tour. Now this. What's the deal? Great fan-base, great players, great product on the pitch. Shoddy management tactics. A shame really. Not helping their karma come elimination round time.
Posted 11:54 17th August 2012
to bloody right... pull yer head in Fordham erm Shepherd
Posted 08:02 17th August 2012