There are a lot of Parramatta fans fuming over the loss of Reed Mahoney — and none more so than two club legends, Ray Price and Mick Cronin.
The duo didn’t hold back when contacted by The Daily Telegraph, with Price calling the Eels’ decision-makers “pathetic.”
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Mahoney has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with the Bulldogs worth $650,000 a season The deal trumps the offer the Eels are understood to have offered — three years at $500,000 a season.
The 23-year-old’s defection comes one week after teammate Isaiah Papali’i signed with the Wests Tigers and two weeks after another Eel Marate Niukore signed with the Warriors.
Price — a premiership-winning captain who played 258 games for the club — questioned the club’s plans before taking a swing at the club’s efforts to make former players feel welcome.
“What are they doing? He is a quality hooker. He is a very good player. But so is Papali’i,” he told the Telegraph.
“Jesus Christ. It can’t go on like this. They need players and they are just letting them go.
“There is not much we can do because they just don’t listen to anyone.
“We are the only team that won something and they couldn’t give a s**t about us.
“The majority of the people that are having anything to do with the club and the side wouldn’t know a footballer if he picked his nose.
“They haven’t got a clue. They are pathetic.”
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A disappointed Cronin admitted he can’t blame Mahoney for taking the attractive offer but pointed out how much the game has changed.
Cronin turned down big offers to stick with Parramatta several times throughout his 10-year career and believes many of his teammates did too.
“Blokes like Ella, Kenny, Price and Sterling would all come into that category,” Cronin told the Telegraph.
“They would have all taken unders to stay.
“I am not going to be hypocritical because the club can get rid of you pretty quick.
“But it disappoints me from a game perspective that there is not a lot of loyalty. It is just the modern game.
“All I am saying is that the game has changed. It seems to be all about the dollar.
“That is dead set a good offer and I can’t blame him.
“But as I said, it probably shows you to a degree now that it is just about the money.”
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The Telegraph reports Mahoney struggled with decision before informing Eels coach Brad Arthur on Thursday.
His manager, Sam Ayoub has shut down any speculation that it’s caused tension with Arthur that could lead to an immediate release.
“Of course, like the rest of the squad there, his ambition is to be winning the comp with Parramatta (in 2022),” Ayoub told the Telegraph.
Prior to losing Mahoney, the Eels had already been accused of lowballing their players given they tried but failed to retain Niukore and Papali’i. Skipper Clint Gutherson re-signed last weekend but it was a drawn-out process due to the club not tabling an initial offer that was good enough.
Eels chairman Sean McElduff hit back in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, labelling the criticism as “absurd.”
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