COLUMN: Fans divided over losing club stalwart

Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Wests Tigers' decision to allow Robbie Farah to leave the club at the end of this season has divided fans.

"What about loyalty?" Farah supporters have screamed.

"He's over the hill" his critics snap back.

Loyalty, age, form, history: there are dozens of reasons either side could use to justify Farah's place at the club, or the board's decision to let him go.

For at least the past five years — probably more — the State of Origin hooker and Wests Tigers captain has borne the brunt of the side's poor results more than anyone.

No one could argue that he is not the heart and soul of the joint venture.

You don't have to be privy to the discussions inside the club's boardroom to know this is an uncomfortable decision for all involved.

Loyalty — both on the part of players and clubs — is dead and it has been for quite some time.

Most clubs have shown they barely respect the fans' input, let alone the players who bleed for the jersey.

It would be ideal for the 31-year-old to see out the final two years of his deal and remain a one-club player.

I have been particularly critical of Farah this year, believing he has starved, not fed, young halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks of the ball, to the detriment of their development.

But would I like to see him leave?

Absolutely not.

Can I understand why he is being allowed to?

Absolutely.

In Manaia Cherrington they have a talented rake destined to play a greater role within the side.

In under 20s hooker Jacob Liddle they have a potential superstar.

Under 20s five-eighth Te Maire Martin, undoubtedly the most exciting prospect in the side, is Penrith bound at the end of the season.

The club can not allow Liddle — the number two prospect — to follow suit.

Farah's influence on club matters — particularly him being blamed for the sacking of former coach MIck Potter — has also been a major reason Wests Tigers want to move the rake on.

One thing is sure, though, whatever jersey Farah wears, he will always be considered a Wests Tigers great.