Reds to question Digby Ioane
April 25, 2013
Digby Ioane says he has no choice but to leave the Queensland Reds © Getty Images
The stand-off between Queensland Reds management and Digby Ioane shows no sign of easing, with officials now saying they want to get to the bottom of suggestions the Wallabies winger has been shopped around, contravening his contract.
Ioane has told the Reds that he wants to leave at the end of this season - a year before the end of his three-season deal - because of a third-party payment dispute. Queensland Rugby Union chief executive Jim Carmichael is leaving the door open for Ioane to sit down and discuss the situation, but he also says Ioane's manager Anthony Piccone will get a legal letter within days to ask whether the winger has been offered to rival Super Rugby sides.
"We see that as breach of his role and we're pretty clear that we have a contract," Carmichael said. "The contract is very, very explicit in protecting the integrity of the code and the parties, the province, the ARU [Australian Rugby Union] and the player. We'll be wanting to get clarification."
Carmichael hinted that the simplest way for Ioane to avoid playing for the Reds next season would be to inform the ARU that he doesn't want a contract in 2014. "On a number of occasions, the ARU has confirmed we are not in breach of any parts of our contract and acknowledged our right to enforce it," Carmichael said. "The ARU would like to work with the parties for an amicable solution (in Australia) but, at this point, there is not any possibility from the QRU's perspective that Digby will be playing for another club in this country next year."
Carmichael doesn't consider his position mean-spirited, insisting a principle is at stake. "I've got to live with my decisions. At some point, we all have to work towards the integrity of contracts."