Andrew Johns is adamant Todd Carney still has a future in the NRL after the five-eighth was sacked by Cronulla following the publication of an unsavoury photo (below) on social media.
IMAGE: Photo published on Twitter showing Todd Carney standing at a urinal, appearing to be engaged in a lewd act known as ‘bubbling’ – urinating in one’s own mouth. Carney’s agent denies the rugby league star posted the image.
Sharks boss Steve Noyce confirmed on Sunday night the club’s decision to sever ties with the troubled 28-year-old, who was signed to Cronulla until the end of the 2018 season on a deal worth around $650,000 a season.
It is the third time Carney has been sacked by an NRL club after being let go by Canberra in 2008 and the Sydney Roosters in 2011.
“Cronulla has today after careful consideration and lengthy deliberation, including discussions with senior NRL management, made a decision to terminate Todd Carney’s NRL playing contract effective immediately,” Noyce said.
“When Todd was first signed to the Sharks he was made well aware of his responsibilities both on and off the field, to himself, the club and to the game in general, however the photograph that appeared last night on social media does not meet the values and standards the club is looking to uphold and take into the future.
“The club and the NRL will be committed to working with Todd, his family and his management in implementing appropriate counselling and support, with the start of this process to begin tonight.”
The NRL said they supported Cronulla’s move, with chief operating officer Jim Doyle labelling the photo “unacceptable and tarnished the image of the game”.
“The overwhelming majority of NRL players are great role models who do such good work on and off the field,” he said in a statement.
“But those who want to bring the game into disrepute are on notice that their behaviour will not be tolerated and the Sharks should be commended for taking such a strong stand in this instance.”
Rugby league Immortal Johns, who earlier said he couldn’t see how Carney could be sacked over the photo, believes the disgraced former Dally M medallist would likely be picked up another club.
“He is such a good player he will get another chance for sure,” Johns said on Triple M.
The image published on Twitter on Saturday night shows Carney standing at a urinal and he appears to be engaged in an unsavoury act.
It’s the latest incident in Carney’s career which has been marred by alcohol-related issues.
The former NSW and Australia representative was banned from playing in the NRL in 2009 due to repeated alcohol-related incidents when he was at Canberra.
Carney joined Cronulla in 2012 after being sacked by the Sydney Roosters for breaking a club-issued alcohol ban in 2011.
He had linked with the Roosters following a year playing rugby league in regional Queensland.
North Queensland, Canberra and Melbourne are three clubs who have struggled in the halves this year, but whether anyone would want to take a punt on the serial offender remains to be seen.
Super League could be another option for Carney, but UK officials rejected a visa application from him in 2009 after he was sacked by the Raiders and deregistered by the NRL.
Salford Red Devils owner multi-millionaire Marwan Koukash tweeted after news broke of Carney’s departure from the Sharks: “We have no interest in Todd Carney”.
By James MacSmith, AAP