Thank goodness that is over! The saga of Blake Ferguson’s tenure as a Canberra Raider player is now over and ended with these words from Don Furner:
“The board were left with little choice but to terminate Blake Ferguson’s contract, after several breaches of club policy”.
Despite all of the support shown for Ferguson by the Raiders, he did not have the fortitude to attend a board meeting summonsed to discuss his recent conduct and that, according to the Raiders statement was the last straw.
The season that was for Ferguson included being the other part of the infamous roof top photo with Josh Dugan, a sexual assault charge whilst in camp with the NSW State of Origin team, the sacking of the coach who supported him after the players could not take that support any more, a disappearing act in recent weeks and playing mute in a bizarre press conference. It is fair to say that his sacking has been a long time coming.
In a season where:
· Josh Dugan was sacked by the club but not de-registered only to find himself playing for another club;
· Sandor Earl has been stood down earlier for conduct that pre-dated his time with the club; and
· Anthony Milford has decided he does not want to stay with the club that gave him a chance in the top flight,
The NRL MUST deregister Ferguson and await the outcome of his current court case as well as the obvious counselling he requires if only to ensure that the Raiders are not punished AGAIN for doing the right thing but also give Ferguson a chance to get his life in order.
It has been a difficult season to be a Canberra Raiders fan this season. Hopefully drawing a line under this sorry saga can assist fans, like me, get some closure and move forward looking towards the 2014 season. It will be all the more difficult to do that if one of the first things that Raiders fans see is Ferguson rewarded with another contract next season.
Here’s hoping he gets the help he obviously needs and the Raiders can move forward with a squad of players who want to play in the green jersey of this proud club. In the meantime: bye bye Blake … I can’t say it has been fun or even rewarding.