He may have walked before he was pushed but Malcolm Noad is still in the dark over the agenda which led to his resignation as Bulldogs chief executive.
Noad made the termination of the final year of his $400,000 a year deal official on Monday, more than a week after initially offering his resignation when a rebel ticket seized control of the Bulldogs board.
The rival group had put their dissatisfaction with Noad’s performance at the top of their agenda, a stance which still perplexed Noad.
“It’s one of the things I’ll probably walk away wondering – I’m not really sure,” Noad said.
“It’s like a political campaign, but I’m not going to walk away and lose any sleep in the next few months wondering about it.”
The rebel ticket, of which Andrew Farrar, Paul Dunn, Barry Ward, Anthony Elias and Ray Dib won seats on the board, claimed the club had not done enough to retain their stars.
Representative players Willie Mason, Braith Anasta, Johnathan Thurston, Steve Price, Mark O’Meley, Nate Myles, Roy Asotasi and Brent Sherwin have all left the club during Noad’s four-year term at the club.
But Noad said there was no way all those players could have been retained and the club stay under the cap.
“I suppose people are largely ill-informed about how difficult it is to retain players,” Noad said.
“Look at the Broncos in the last 12 months, they’ve lost five international players after winning the grand final in 2006.
“We had the added pressure of a salary cap scandal in 2002 … I think we’ve done as well as we can.
“You look at the players we’ve retained – Sonny Bill Williams twice, Andrew Ryan twice, Matt Utai twice, Hazem El Masri twice.
“I don’t think we could have done it differently unless we wanted to become a club where you dump players before their contract’s up.
“For arguments sake we could have dumped Mark O’Meley to retain Roy Asotasi … but we don’t think that’s what our club should stand for.
“We think loyalty is a major factor in our organisation.”
Asked why he walked away, Noad said he didn’t want to stand in the way of progress.
“The campaign that the majority of the new board members waged was about the need for change and I don’t think that they would be able to make the changes they want with me there,” Noad said.
“They deserve the opportunity to make whatever changes they want unencumbered by the existing CEO.”
Noad will remain in the post for the next couple of weeks, overseeing the club’s move to their new headquarters at Homebush.
Bulldogs chairman George Peponis, who asked Noad to re-consider his resignation at the board elections, said he had received assurances from the new board that Noad had their support.
But it wasn’t enough to change Noad’s mind, with Peponis admitting he had not yet given any thought to a successor.
“We’ve got no-one in mind,” Peponis said.
There are suggestions that Graeme Hughes, the former Bulldogs backrower behind the rebel ticket, is lining himself up for the chief executive hot seat.
Peponis, who stated before the board elections that he would find it hard to work alongside Hughes, dismissed suggestions his former teammate was in the running.
“I think that’s probably something that’s way out there at this stage so I’m not even going to consider that option,” Peponis said.
“And it’s a decision for the board, not mine.”