Manly’s shareholders and club executives have dug deep into their own pockets to retain gun half-back Daly Cherry-Evans, The Public Apology can confirm.
Last week Cherry-Evans’ manager Gavin Orr had requested the 23-year-old be released from his current contract, which sees the player on a $85,000 base salary for this season. The scare forced Manly CEO David Perry and shareholders into a frenzied cash-raising effort to keep the youngster, which ultimately proved successful. Reports suggest that Cherry-Evans is now poised to sign a four-year package worth around $2 million.
The Public Apology understands that Manly’s 16,000 members chipped in around half of the money to keep Cherry-Evans at Brookvale. Most of this cash was stuffed in envelopes and left outside the club’s Narrabeen headquarters. Some Manly faithful are rumoured to have mortgaged their houses, sold motor vehicles and offered their children as sex slaves in a desperate bid to keep the Origin aspirant. There is no word yet as to whether the latter sacrifice has paid dividends yet.
One good samaritan even donated a fridge to the club, with instructions attached to pawn the appliance to a second-hand shop. Some have suggested that the mysterious appliance bares more than a passing similarity to the one that inexplicably went missing some months ago from Manly’s Narrabeen headquarters, originally supplied to the NRL club to keep sports drinks cold for the players.
Perry said that he personally had contributed A$200,000 to retain Cherry-Evans, the majority of which was found in the really-hard-to-reach back section of his L-shaped leather couch. “I also found a bunch of unclaimed TAB betting slips, which I hadn’t cashed yet. That netted me a cosy A$10,000 or so,” he added.
Speaking at a press conference earlier today, Cherry-Evans thanked the Manly faithful for bankrolling his career and keeping him on the northern beaches.
“I’m just so grateful to have another four years of hitting the Ivanhoe, Steyne and Wharf bars… there’s really no better district to let your hair down after a home win, and the chicks there are just awesome,” he said.
“I’m also pretty fucking stoked about the fridge.”
By Dave Edwards