Blindside: Yow Yeh’s heartbreaking Broncos exit
Former Broncos star Jharal Yow Yeh has made an emotional exit from the club, eight years after suffering an horrific career-ending injury.
Yow Yeh was last week one of numerous Broncos staff to be let go by the club as it deals with the crippling financial toll of the NRL season suspension.
Yow Yeh, 30, signed with the Broncos as a teenager and was a member of the club's inaugural under-20s squad in 2008.
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He made his NRL debut in 2009 and was a Test and Origin star before suffering a shocking ankle injury in 2012.
The Broncos gave Yow Yeh an off-field job following his devastating career blow, but he exited Red Hill last week.
"I've been at the Broncos since I was 17," Yow Yeh said in a touching social media video.
"I wanted to tell you guys how much you're appreciated. The Broncos fans and members are outstanding, the best fans I could ever ask for.
"You're the reason we play rugby league.
"I don't know where the next part of my life is going to take me at the moment but I'm sure it will be a good one and positive one."
Yow Yeh posted on Twitter this week that he was looking for work.
NEST EGGS REVEALED
Don't shed too many tears about the 46 per cent pay cut looming for NRL stars. While many everyday Australians are losing jobs and struggling to pay bills, most NRL stars are living very comfortably - even if they don't get paid for the final five months of this season.
Blindside can reveal one Queensland-based player has $700,000 saved up sitting nicely in his bank account. Another Maroons Origin star has $180,000 in the bank, plus an extra $100,000 in a redraw facility on his home loan.
Under the pay-cut plan between the NRL and RLPA, every contracted player will receive their full monthly wage for April and May.
For $1 million earners such as Broncos pivot Anthony Milford, Storm skipper Cameron Smith and Queensland halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, that equates to $166,000 for the next two months - double the average Australian yearly salary of $82,000.
Melbourne Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster told Blindside he will never complain about the current situation facing NRL players.
"I've got mates and family doing it a lot tougher than me," Munster said. "A lot of NRL players are paid way more than people in the workforce so whatever happens to the game in the next few months, I'll support it."
ARROW ON THE TOOLS
Gold Coast Titans star Jai Arrow is considering picking up the plumbing tools, and says his two dogs have helped him stay sane during the coronavirus lockdown.
Arrow recently split with his partner, former Miss Australia Taylah Cannon, and has struggled to cope with the indefinite suspension of the NRL season.
Arrow hit pause when in the third year of a plumbing apprenticeship, but says he might hop back on the tools if the NRL season doesn't get underway this year.
"I could be back on the tools pretty soon if anyone is offering," he said.
"I might have to call my old boss and see if he wants me to work a few days a week.
"I'm a third-year apprentice. Every time I've had TAFE on I've had training so it hasn't worked out for me to finish it.
"If I need work I will get back on the tools. I'll see what the pay cuts will be like and what bills I can pay.
"If footy doesn't get back up I'll definitely go look for some work."
In isolation with Matty Johns. Don't miss his latest podcast where Matt is joined by his wife Trish and his two rugby league-playing sons Cooper and Jack.
Arrow said his dogs, Thor and Koda, were helping him keep busy while NRL players were in isolation.
"I'd go absolutely mental without them, I reckon," he said.
"They are always happy to see me. I get to walk them so that gets me out of the house."
PLANTING NRL SEEDS
Peter V'landys has copped some pot shots during the coronavirus saga, so the ARL Commission chairman has turned to pot plants to ease the stress during tough times.
Despite criticism from some quarters for requesting funding aid from the government, V'landys is doing an outstanding job for the NRL and is finally showing the high-level leadership that code has craved for decades.
But to escape the daily grind, V'landys is turning to simple pursuits during lockdown. When he isn't negotiating with broadcasters, the government and the RLPA to stave off NRL bankruptcy, V'landys sneaks off into his backyard to tend to his pot plants.
Not that there has been much downtime for V'landys, who has been sleeping three to five hours a night to help rugby league through the coronavirus ordeal.
CORONA CONTRACT SHAKE-UP
The financial crisis engulfing rugby league will not only have implications for the NRL salary cap, but the structure of player contracts.
Blindside has discovered a major shake-up is coming for the way NRL player contracts are negotiated and registered. Option clauses have become commonplace in today's game, but the coronavirus crisis has rammed home how dangerous they are in player contracts.
For example, Broncos duo Anthony Milford and Jack Bird have 12-month contractual options in their favour. They have until May to activate their options.
Now that the NRL is in suspension, the duo will have no hesitation taking up the deals. That will cost the Broncos $1.8 million on their salary cap for 2021.
Several influential figures in the game believe player and club options are unnecessary, and only create more salary-cap confusion, especially with back-ended deals. Expect the days of option deals to be over.
Originally published as Blindside: Yow Yeh's heartbreaking Broncos exit