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Warriors Under Fire For $700,000 Payout To Matt Lodge Who Left Club After Confrontation With CEO

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Warriors Under Fire For $700,000 Payout To Matt Lodge Who Left Club After Confrontation With CEO

The New Zealand Warriors have been questioned over a bizarre $700,000 pay-out to Matt Lodge who walked out on the club mid-season. 

The club announced the 26-year-old’s departure on Friday (May 20), unconventionally parting ways with the player despite still having 18 months of his contract.

Lodge reportedly didn’t want to live in New Zealand, however, the decision to pay him out for the rest of his contract was a strange one as the sum remains on Warriors' salary cap until the end of the 2023 season.

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On NRL 360, NRL great Braith Anasta said: “This story is a bizarre one and I can’t understand and I would love someone to explain it to me, but Matt Lodge has been given a release from the Warriors, but paid out in full for the rest of this season and the rest of next year.

“It doesn’t add up to me. What has happened here?”

No doubt many of the New Zealand side’s supporters had been left wondering exactly why the club would jeopardise their salary cap for the next two seasons if nothing had gone wrong.

Kiwi legend Graham Lowe recently called out the Warriors and demanded they give the fans an explanation.

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He told Wide World of Sports: “The fact the club gives a guy a $700,000 golden handshake when he walks out mid-season - there's obviously something more to it.

"From what I know about Lodge he is a fiery character and I can guarantee he's had a confrontation with either the owner (Mark Robinson) or the CEO (Cameron George).

"But how that entitles him to a massive pay-out that will impact on the Warriors' salary cap for next season is beyond me."

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It seems as though Graham Lowe was right on the money, as Warriors owner Mark Robinson revealed to the Daily Telegraph that he and Lodge had quite a confrontation last year.

The multi-millionaire explained that the pair had an argument at the Belvedere Hotel near Redcliffe, however, he wouldn’t divulge exactly what the argument was over.

Despite the two shaking hands the relationship had soured.

Robinson told the Daily Telegraph: “It was a simple business transaction. He had an option for next season so he was entitled to a severance package, as would any employee out there who has a contract with their employer.”

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The explanation will still leave Warriors fans seething as their club has had to burn $700,000 out of their salary cap money for an outgoing player.

Featured Image Credit: New Zealand Warriors. Instagram/Matt Lodge.

Topics: NRL, New Zealand, Rugby League, Australia

Jayden Collins
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