He has announced his departure from the Gold Coast Titans, and now, it seems like there’s some bad blood between two key figures at Gold Coast HQ, with one in particular, left feeling somewhat confused.
After seeing Titans CEO Michael Searle with Roosters second-rower Nate Myles, and sacked prop Ryan Tandy, it was only then that Titans hooker Nathan Friend was truly coming to terms with his departure from the club.
Friend will be headed to the Warriors for three years from season 2012, in a deal that is worth close to $1 million .
Friend has long been regarded as one of the Titans most important players, but he has a somewhat irate relationship with CEO Searle, following several rounds of negotiations that broke down.
“[Searle] doesn’t approach me and I don’t go out of my way. I don’t play rugby with Michael Searle, I play it with my team-mates at the Titans and for the coach,” Friend said.
“Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to know how to run a business like he does.”
“There’s no board here at the Gold Coast, so whatever he says and thinks is final”.
“But I’ve got a lot of great friends at the Titans, and my wife and I will eventually return to the Gold Coast”.
Searle has come under intense scrutiny from several factions within the NRL world, after he was spotted in a ‘secret’ meeting with sacked Bulldog Ryan Tandy, and his manager Sam Ayoub last Wednesday.
Despite denying that such a meeting took place, witnesses saw the three talking amongst themselves in the foyer at Sheraton Park Hotel in Sydney.
It has emerged that secret negotiations were conducted in Searle’s hotel room at the Sheraton, in which several players names came up for a possible move to the Titans.
When queried about what happened, Searle did not respond, but a Titans spokesperson did.
“The Titans have not, are not and will not be negotiating with Ryan Tandy. The purpose of why Sam Ayoub brought Ryan Tandy to the Sheraton on the Park is a question for Sam Ayoub,” the spokesperson said.