Sacked Todd Carney feels betrayed by Cronulla Sharks boss Steve Noyce

Todd Carney says his dignity and pride have been hurt after a picture of him performing a lewd act in a nightclub toilet was made public.
Todd Carney says his dignity and pride have been hurt after a picture of him performing a lewd act in a nightclub toilet was made public.

Todd Carney wins support from Dragons' Dugan


Todd Carney has taken aim at Cronulla boss Steve Noyce on the day the playing squad met for the first time and threw their support behind the fallen star.

Fairfax Media understands that it was a robust one-hour meeting between the playing group and chief executive Noyce that took place inside the Remondis Stadium dressing rooms on Monday morning because a shocked squad wanted to know why the star pivot was sacked.

The fiery conversation left the players “not in the right head space” to train, one official says, so training was cancelled. Interim coach Peter Sharp didn’t attend the meeting because of a medical appointment. The players held a meeting without Noyce and several key staff members for about 30 minutes.  

Some players then did a weights session, but most of the squad left the ground.

Carney told Channel Nine that he felt let down by the Sharks – who he inked a rich five-year deal with last year – but was boosted by support of his teammates.

A host of players including skipper Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Eric Grothe jnr visited Carney’s Cronulla apartment during the day. It was Noyce who sacked Carney at the Roosters in 2011.

“I got a phone call late yesterday [Sunday] afternoon and he asked me what I thought should happen,” Carney said. “I said that I wanted an opportunity to talk to the players firstly and talk to the board and the staff. He said he’d let me know about that. After he sat down and then the boys got a text message 10 minutes later saying there is a release that’s going to happen. I felt betrayed and lied to.

“It’s hard to say if it’s personal. He was my previous CEO at the Roosters who terminated my contract. If there was someone [else] who was in control I don’t think I would be sacked.”

A source said Carney was struggling to come to terms with his NRL exile. It is expected that Sharp and the rest of the Sharks squad will resume regular training on Tuesday.

“I didn’t know it would ever surface like this,” Carney said of the photo. “To receive the message on Saturday night was gut-wrenching and made me feel sick straight away. It was a prank. The boys have seen me muck around doing it before. I didn’t think there would be a photo taken in the public.

“As much as it’s hurt Cronulla and my career, it’s hurt my pride and integrity as a person. I can’t speak to [my mum] and she can’t speak to me. It’s just been text messages. I didn’t do it to let anyone down; I didn’t do it for a picture to be taken. I didn’t know there was a picture being taken.”

Channel Nine claimed that Carney’s friend Mick Robinson took the image before sending the photo on to his brother, who lost his phone at the races last weekend. Robinson said Carney “did not drink his own urine”. The image then appeared on social media.

“I just hope this isn’t the end of me as a footballer,” Carney said. “It’s not the end of me as a person, I’m stronger than that.”