Dogs coach in shock after being stood down

Laine Clark
Dean Pay was shocked the NRL club's coaching staff were stood down after the COVID-19 ban

Canterbury coach Dean Pay admits he is still in shock after the entire NRL club's coaching staff were stood down without pay following the league's decision to suspend the season due to coronavirus.

While Pay conceded other Australians were facing bigger challenges because of the pandemic, he said the Bulldogs staff were still battling to get their head around COVID-19's impact on the game.

"Yeah we (coaching staff) have (been stood down). We got the bad news on Tuesday but there a lot of Australians out there in the same position," he told Fox League.

"We have got a good group of people in our club. It is just a shame that this is the circumstances that we find ourselves in."

However, Pay backed the NRL outfit dubbed the 'Family Club' to survive the unprecedented threat to the game.

"We had a meeting (with staff) on Tuesday night and ... we have a relatively young group and a lot of them were really taken aback (by season postponement)," he said.

"It started to hit home there and then (with players), they are all in shock.

"But they stick together and as a club that is what we have to do. That's the only way we will get through this."

Asked if he was still able to pay the bills, Pay said: "We will be fine for a while but we are the same as any other family.

"We need an income and need to keep moving forward but it is what it is - we will try to survive.

"But we feel for everyone who is doing it tough right now, it is not just us.

"But how long it is going to go on for no one knows - it is up in the air."

While Pay was confident he would return as Bulldogs coach when the NRL resumed, he was anxious about the rest of the Canterbury staff that had been laid off this week.

"In the future it will depend when the game can get going again and what the game looks like - are we going to have enough funds to get all the staff members back on?" he asked.

"That is what really worries me. It is still pretty raw at the moment."