In demand: Will Travis Cloke turn his back on the Pies?COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire has ignited the debate about Travis Cloke’s future, saying the Magpies will boast a ”war chest” and has vowed to declare ”war on the world” and Fremantle if the star defects to the west.
The Dockers have offered Cloke a five-year deal worth about $5 million and remain interested in him despite the power forward claiming he is not keen on regular interstate travel and dealing with the Perth heat because he is a heavy sweater.
Cloke’s managers, his father David, and Ralph Carr, had originally wanted a five-year contract from the Magpies, but now say they would be happy with a four-year deal, although it is believed that would mean at a higher yearly wage to make up for the shortened deal. It is understood the Magpies are willing to offer between $750,000 and $800,000 a season.
The Magpies have warned other uncontracted players could be squeezed out if players are too greedy during negotiations.
McGuire used his pre-match president’s address to deliver a warning to the Dockers – as he did to a circling Greater Western Sydney last year – and declared the Pies would move on quickly if Cloke, 25, left.
”We are obviously in fierce negotiations with a number of players, but I think it’s significant for people to maybe just take a deep breath and realise that we’re a pretty big football club at Collingwood,” McGuire said. ”We do negotiations all day, every day. We’ll continue our negotiations. The Cloke one’s a big one. The Fremantle Dockers are into him, offering plenty of money and all that sort of stuff.
”That’s fine, that’s what they’re there to do. They’re a competitive side, they’ve put their hand up and said: ‘We’re not going to be easybeats’.
”They were audacious in the way they picked up Ross Lyon late last year and good luck to them. We have no issue with Fremantle whatsoever.
”However, if you did pick up your Footy Record today do what I’ll be doing and that is going to their list and looking at the 22-23-year-olds that you like and submit them to me after the game.
”Because if we lose Cloke I will have a war chest and will declare war on the world.
”And first port of call will be Fremantle, don’t worry about that. You think I’m joking, don’t you? I’m not joking, I promise you.”
McGuire said the Magpies had rebuilt with youth in previous years and ”no one family, no one person makes a difference to the ongoing success of our club if they fall in or out of favour”.
This appeared to be in reference to David Cloke.
”This is what we build our club on. No one person dominates the Collingwood football club,” McGuire said.
”We are a club that is built on firm foundations. No player walks out the door and the club is decimated. We’re a strong club, we believe in what we believe in. We pay well and we look after our players better than anyone.
”David Cloke knows that, he came to Collingwood, he chose our club for his kids and we’ll negotiate with David. If he decides that he wants to move on, then well and good, he can go and do whatever he likes.”
McGuire also revealed the Magpies had this week secured ”probably the biggest deal that the football club has ever done”, but he did not provide any specifics.
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