NRL legend Ben Elias blasts Canterbury Bulldogs’ Board for broken promises


NRL legend Ben Elias has blasted the Canterbury Bulldogs’ Board for failing to deliver on their nine-pillar promise from when they were elected.

The Bulldogs are in dire straits after recording only one victory in the first nine rounds of the 2020 season, cementing the club in bottom spot on the NRL ladder.

After weeks of speculation, head coach Dean Pay revealed he had resigned from his position after being told he would not be needed next season.

The club is yet to announce a replacement, but Steve Georgallis will step in as interim coach until a full-time appointment is revealed.

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Speaking on Fox League’s NRL 360, Elias claimed the Bulldogs Board had “failed” to fulfil the promises pitched to voting members, which included engaging with fans, introducing proper governance and bringing respect back to the club.

“(The Board) did a very big campaign to get in,” Elias said on Wednesday.

“They had a nine-pillar plan to change the Bulldogs, upside down, inside out.

“You review all that, and they have failed. They get a big fat fail.”

The former New South Wales representative also revealed how the struggling club had lost the trust of their fanbase.

“I know a lot of very passionate Bulldogs supporters, and they always say to me, ‘Next time you’re on NRL 360, make sure to give the Bulldogs a go’,” Elias said.

“They’re so upset about what they did to vote for this regime to be in there.

“It starts at the very top. You’ve got to be accountable, and you’ve got to take responsibility.

“One of the senior players today — I won’t mention his name — came out and said, ‘We don’t even know what’s happening at the very top’.

“They don’t know who their coach is going to be next year. They’re walking into the wilderness. They don’t know what they’re doing.

“If you expect to get any success out of that formula, you are joking.”

Manly Sea Eagles great Geoffrey Toovey echoed Elias’ comments, claiming: “From the fans’ view, nothing seems to be changing at a drastic rate.

“They need to make some really big changes now.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Bulldogs veteran Aiden Tolman urged the Canterbury Board to make a quick decision on the club’s next coach.

“I don’t think the players need to get involved in Board goings-on, but I will say that leadership starts at the top of places and we need that to filter down,” Tolman said.

“I’m not saying what they’ve done is right or wrong. But I am saying that we have some clear clarity now in the direction that we’re moving.

“We want to be moving in the same direction as a whole club. For me, when they think the right candidate as a new coach is there, then they can make that decision. Then we can sort out lots of other things that are going on.”

Canterbury will face the St. George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday afternoon at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.