Lawyers have been called into the increasingly hostile battle for control of the Canterbury Bulldogs.
7th Tackle can reveal the current board, headed by chairman Ray Dib, today issued its main rivals with a legal letter from solicitors.
It demanded a public apology over accusations his board had engaged a PR firm to build a “dirt file” on the challengers, known as the ‘Reform Ticket’.
It includes former skipper Steve Price, premiership-winning coach Chris Anderson and former prop Paul Dunn.
Anderson’s wife Lynne – current CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee - is also a member and believed to be the rivals’ choice for chair should their ticket succeed.
The claim was communicated to two Sydney newspapers via press release almost two weeks ago and received widespread publicity.
The challengers said it was based on information from “several credible and respected sources”. Dib issued an immediate denial, describing the story as “untrue”.
He also threatened to involve defamation lawyers – and delivered on that promise earlier today when ‘Reform’ members were sent a legal letter.
It demanded a published apology, as well as compensation for reputational damage, within the next seven days. The election is being held on 11 February.
If the ‘Reform’ Ticket elects to fight, the matter could end up in the Supreme Court. The Bulldogs already have one matter before that court, with former coach Des Hasler suing the club for his contract pay-out after being sacked last September.