'Wasn't me': NRL star claims 'fake tweet' savaging club boss

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, Raiders CEO Don Furner and star forward John Bateman.
John Bateman has denied writing a scathing post about Raiders CEO Don Furner. Pic: Getty

Canberra Raiders forward John Bateman claims his social media account was hacked after it was used in a scathing attack on the club's chief executive, Don Furner.

Bateman's future at the Raiders has been the subject of intense speculation, with reports stating that he is seeking a release from his contract.

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The English forward had an incredible debut season in the NRL in 2019, culminating in a grand final appearance.

Bateman, who was named Dally M Second Rower of the Year in his first campaign in Australia, revealed recently that the Raiders had given him the green light to speak to other clubs due to salary-cap restrictions.

The forward is currently on a reported $600,000 a season but could command an annual salary of $800,000 on the open market, with plenty of clubs said to be interested.

Bateman took aim at a report from The Daily Telegraph's James Hooper for claiming that he wanted a release.

Now he's been forced to deny writing a foul-mouthed spray that was posted from his personal Twitter account, that criticises Raiders CEO Furner.

“Yeah well Don is a d***head too. And I only asked for a release once, no (sic) 4 times like cueball (Hooper) suggested. They are full of (poo emoji). #DitchDon," the post read.

Bateman claims this tweet that was sent from his personal account is fake. Pic: Twitter
Bateman claims this tweet that was sent from his personal account is fake. Pic: Twitter

"I swear it wasn't me. I haven't got a clue where it came from. Someone has tried to set me up," Bateman told The Daily Telegraph of the above post.

"I even Googled 'how do you make a fake tweet' when it was brought to my attention to find out how it could happen. I'd never say anything like that about Don. I like him."

Bateman’s intention is to stay with Raiders

The 26-year-old has denied he is looking to engineer a move and is eager to remain in the capital.

He posted on Twitter: "Like I said yesterday never once have I asked for a release, neither has my management.

"Canberra gave me permission to talk to other clubs months ago because they're tight on the cap next year and nothing for me from 2022 onwards.

"I have a renegotiation clause in my deal for every year, that's why we are working through it.

"I love the Raiders and want to be here. So settle yourselves down and let's get talking about the season starting back up."

The Raiders' ability to hold on to Bateman has come into question, with recent upgrades for stars such as Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker and Nick Cotric limiting their salary cap wiggle room.

Bateman has consistently stated that securing a long-term deal to provide for his daughter, is his number one priority.

with agencies