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Shame on Ivan Cleary for what he’s done – Benny Elias

The coaching merry-go-round, which has been a staple story line in the back pages of the countries news papers for months now, continues to wreak  havoc across the NRL this week

News over the weekend that the Tigers had signed Michael Maguire as coach of the side for 2018 confirmed the worst kept secret in the NRL, that Ivan Cleary was leaving the Tigers to return to the Panthers to coach his son Nathan.

Speaking on the Macquarie Sports Radio breakfast show, a furious Tigers legend Benny Elias unleashed on Ivan Cleary for his handling of the situation, “Extremely disappointing. It’s a real frustrating time for the West Tigers fans I’ve got to say. We thought we were going to start building a dynasty, that’s what he (Ivan Cleary) said. He was to have all the say in what was happening in the football world.”

Elias was frustrated that the club allowed Cleary to move on the Tigers three best players, “In one stroke of a red pen he got rid of our 3 great juniors in Aaron Woods, Mitchell Moses and without doubt one of the greatest players in today’s game in Tedesco. They were the three people you build a side on, build a very good side on and unfortunately it was Ivan’s decision along with the board obviously to get rid of those three players because he had some scheme to make us a dynasty and 12 months later none of those players are there and he’s gone also.”

Replacement coach Michael Maguire is no slouch, having taken the Rabbitohs to Premiership glory in 2014 but that hasn’t stopped Elias calling for some form of compensation for the club, “There’s got to be compensation because what he’s done, he’s left carnage behind by getting out of his contract with 2 more years (remaining). It’s absolutely disgraceful and not acceptable”

Elias finished the interview with his most pointed criticism of the outgoing Tigers coach. “All I want to say is shame on Ivan Cleary for what he’s done. There’s been no excuse and there’s been no reason for that”

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You can listen to the full interview with Benny Elias below: