He wants to be a Rabbitoh for life, and the Rabbitohs want Luke to be a part of their club for his entire career, but there are some underlying factors that have caused a dispute with Luke’s management company.
With Luke off contract at the end of the 2011 season, he has verbally stated to the club that he wishes to remain with them, despite the issues faced with his management.
“Obviously from our point of view Issac Luke is a priority for us,” Souths chief executive Shane Richardson said yesterday.
“Issac’s happy at the club and we’re happy with Issac and we’ve just got to work through the dispute with his management.”
Luke is one of many NRL players that is managed by Gavin and Chris Orr of Pacific Sports Management, who also manage Nate Myles, Steve Matai, Greg Bird, and Cooper Cronk.
What is perhaps a sticking point in the situation however, is that in most cases, a players ties with their management contract end when their contract expires. In Luke’s case however, he has a deal that goes until 2014 with PSM.
“To this date we’ve received no letter of termination and we’ve got a contract with him until 2014 — end of story,” Orr said yesterday.
“Of course we’d like to hang on to him and of course we think we’ve done the right thing through the course of his career — I think we signed him at age 16.
“All we’re doing is pursuing Issac to let us know where it all stands at the moment. If he has a beef, he hasn’t outlined it to us.
“If a player says he’s leaving a club, normally he’s found an alternative club.
“If a player says he’s leaving an agent he’s already spoken to them and been sold a different dream from another agent.”
In order to get to the bottom of the situation, Luke has asked for legal counsel from high-profile lawyer, Adam Houda.
“He has come to me for assistance but I don’t know where it’s at at the moment,” Houda said.
Luke will miss the Charity Shield due to an off-season shoulder reconstruction, but he will be fit to play in Round 1.
With the focus now on this supposed dispute, Souths would want to have this dispute settled as quickly as possible with their halves John Sutton and Chris Sandow also off contract.