Warm & Fuzzy message coming our way….
Parramatta will go to the extraordinary lengths of sending out a message to all members on Sunday to acknowledge the fan’s disappointment in the wake of the embarrassing 56-10 flogging by Manly.
It comes as Eels chief executive Jim Sarantinos once again guaranteed that Brad Arthur’s job was safe beyond this season.
The Eels’ premiership hopes are in freefall in the countdown to the finals after tumbling to the team’s fourth consecutive defeat.
To make matters worse star backrower Ryan Matterson is also now facing a three-to-five week ban for a careless high tackle that knocked Manly’s Brad Parker senseless on Saturday night.
The Eels are already without star hooker Reed Mahoney and tough prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard and have an extremely tough finish to the regular season.
While the take on the struggling Cowboys on Saturday, after that it is back-to-back games against competition heavyweights Melbourne and Penrith before the finals kick off.
But while many in the game think the Eels are as good as gone already after dropping to sixth spot, at least they are attempting to put on a united front amid the mounting pressure.
Sarantinos told News Corp that the club felt for the fans but no one was ready to throw in the towel.
“We are actually going to send a brief note out to members later (Sunday),” Sarantinos said.
“It is just a brief note just acknowledging that we know our fans and members are disappointed.
“We understand that.
“And that comes through loud and clear and I think it is important to us to acknowledge that.”
Sarantinos said that he hadn’t spoken to Arthur following the game but had exchanged text messages and the coach has his and the club’s full support to at least see out the final season of his existing contract in 2022.
“Of course. He is contracted for next year,” Sarantinos added.
“Like I said, in the current situation the club is in we really can’t afford to focus on anything other than what happens next week.
“In times like this the best thing you can do is show support for your people to help them and try and regain some confidence.
“I think Brad has been asked numerous times in recent periods does he feel like he has got the support and I think he has said yes.”
While the players have been hammered for their performance against Manly, with Phil Gould even suggesting they gave up, Sarantinos said he felt it was more a case of them trying too hard.
“I think as you would have seen from Brad in the last couple of weeks, I think he has acknowledged that the team is down on confidence,” Sarantinos explained.
“I don’t know it is through any lack of trying.
“I think sometimes when you are trying your hardest but you are down on confidence sometimes it just becomes counterproductive.”
He said Arthur was obviously “really disappointed”.
“But the reality is all we can do, the only thing we can do, is try and regroup and focus on the week ahead which is the Cowboys on Saturday,” he said.
“I think the best thing for us as a club, as a playing group, as a staff group at this point is to try and regain some confidence and the reality is that will only happen with a win.
“So the guys have to focus on what it is that we need to do to come together and get that win on Saturday and then hopefully get past what these last four weeks have been.
“To be perfectly honest it is tough to say much more than that.”
The NRL’s match review committee on Sunday slapped Matterson with a grade three careless high tackle charge which will see him get three weeks if he enters an early plea or five weeks if he unsuccessfully fights the charge at the judiciary.
Maika Sivo also copped a grade one high tackle charge but will escape with a fine.
Letter from Parramatta CEO to members.
Dear Mr Analyst
On behalf of the Club I want to acknowledge the disappointment of our Members and fans given the last few weeks’ results. We are all responsible for meeting the high standards that we set for ourselves and contributing to the success of the Club.
The most important thing we can do at this time is focus on supporting our staff and our players and do everything possible to get back to winning football games, starting with our game against the Cowboys next Saturday night.
I want to thank you all for your loyalty and support which everyone at the Club values greatly and assure you that we are all committed to working as hard as we can and play our part to get back to winning, leading into the finals.
Go the Eels!
Chief Executive Officer