The speculation has been rife that a move was going to eventuate and it has now happened, with the Canterbury Bulldogs confirming the release of Ben Barba to the Brisbane Broncos.
In what was a length negotiation period for the two clubs to allow the move to go through, the welfare of Barba and his family were always the number one priority, with the Dogs fullback to take up a three-year deal with the Broncos .
In what is a unique situation, Barba’s existing deal with the Dogs will be transferred over to the Broncos and he will officially join the club during the 2014 pre-season.
In what was a tough period for both clubs, Broncos CEO Paul White, as the club thanked the Bulldogs for their cooperation over the matter.
â€œWe can today announce that we have agreed to terms with Ben Barba to play for our club for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons,â€ said White.
â€œThe terms of the release from the Bulldogs do involve the payment of some compensation to his current club, which was structured on the reasonable understanding from both clubs of the investment made by the Bulldogs both on and off the field, particularly over the last 18 months.
â€œWhile this process has had the added pressure of being played out in the media for some period of time, all parties have been measured and considered, and absolutely consistent that the welfare of Ben and his family were paramount.
â€œThe Broncos will effectively transfer Benâ€™s current contract for seasons 2014 and 2015, with new terms agreed for 2016.
â€œAll parties are also clear that the financial terms of the contract were not the primary driver for these negotiations or the transfer.
â€œWe would like to thank the Bulldogs and Benâ€™s management for showing patience and professionalism to make this a reality.
â€œWe look forward to welcoming Ben to the club officially when his commitment begins later this year.â€
With the move all family based, the Broncos were keen to emphasises that the move was not financially related.
“We have signed Ben Barba for three seasons and two years of that term will be a transfer of his current existing contract with the Bulldogs,” said White today.
“Effectively Ben comes to our clubs and plays under the same terms and conditions he would have been under had he stayed at the Bulldogs.
“I want to say that because it is important to know these negotiations at their core have not been based on financial considerations.
“What’s played a heavy role obviously is the commitment Ben to his family, his children and a desire to come back to Queensland, and user reviews semenax also to play for our club.”
With a lot of negotiations and a lot of outside pressures, the Broncos were grateful that things have now gone through and are all finalised.
“We’d like to thank the Bulldogs for the way they have conducted themselves,” he said.
“As you know this has been played out heavily in the media that has added some pressure to those discussions.
“At the end of the day we took a considered and measured approach to it.”
It was back when Barba was a teenager that the club first spotted him, though he obviously went to the Bulldogs at the time – with the Mackay area one that the Broncos have been familiar with for some time.
“Our involvement has probably only been over the last four weeks,” said White.
“We were not able to have formal discussions with Ben until the Bulldogs gave him a release.
“Once the Bulldogs were able to agree to those release terms, then we were in a position to have formal discussions with Ben.
“It is very exciting for our club.
“I know that area of Mackay very well, they have produced some exciting footballers, and he is a Queenslander.
“He was part of our development programs when he was 13 and 14 years of age.
“Today we welcome back to our club a player that we have invested some time and energy in.”
Whilst it is a tough move for Barba, he appreciates the Bulldogs for allowing him to move closer to his family.
â€œToday I agreed to terms with the Brisbane Broncos which will allow me to move to Queensland with my family,â€ Barba said.
â€œI would like to thank the Bulldogs for their understanding of my personal circumstances and for their total support throughout my career.
â€œI would like to now focus on getting back on the field and finishing the year on a positive note in the blue and white.â€
Raelene Castle, the Bulldogs CEO, said the complex situation is one that was complicated, as she welcomed the patience shown by all parties involved.
â€œThere were many complicated elements that needed to be considered around Benâ€™s request for a release and weâ€™re pleased to have achieved a result that leaves everyone comfortable with the outcome,â€ Castle said.
â€œWhile we have worked extremely hard with Ben, with his football and with his personal life, we accept that both of those things will be better if he is with family.
â€œWe have confidence in our current roster, we have strong talent as part of our program and we have one of the best coaches in the game to continue to deliver results.â€