Talking dollars keeps focus on bottom line

Brian Cook  
Wednesday, August 7

HEY, I thought I was the one that nobody loved.

Chief executive Brian Cook has always been one to stand by his players and his coaching staff, so I was very surprised when he came out and said that only three of the top10 money earners are justifying their pay packets.

I can assure you that from the players' point of view it would be stinging.

Let's face it, no one questions what he's getting paid or how he's performing week after week. Don't think there won't be some mumbling in the dressing rooms.

Let's look at the facts.

The Cats won seven on the trot, prematurely, some people were even talking about finals, even the top four.

Then they came crashing down with two losses at home. One unlucky, one a belting.

Brian Cook, those who have met him know, is an astute man who doesn't pull any punches. He's a good operator and the club is in good shape.

So, is he wielding a doubled-edged sword when he comes out and lays it on the line as bluntly as he did?

Is it a motivational tactic?

Is he getting the better-paid players to have a good, long look at themselves with the finals four weeks away?

Obviously, it's a money-earner if you make the finals and Brian Cook always has his eye on the bottom line.

And he has a point too.

The young kids have been playing fantastic footy, it's been a long year for them and they've established themselves as the side for the future.

Ricco has gone to the next level, he's now becoming a champion player. We all knew he had that ability and it's good to see it finally emerge after the problems he's had.

Steven King is close to All-Australian selection again and Darren Milburn is a huge loss.

The other two Cookie probably neglected to mention in what was a radio interview, were Tom Harley and Matthew Scarlett.

You can't say they haven't been putting in.

Were his comments directed at Ben Graham and Ronnie Burns and probably Mitchell White?

Cook's words bring back memories. I had a certain meeting with Malcolm Blight when he sat me down and said: ``Life seems to be getting too comfortable for you.''

I'd paid off my house, there were no debts and a bit of money in the bank. He could tell by the way I was playing that the hunger had gone a bit.

He said: ``Look, I think you'd better go out and put yourself under pressure again.'' So I went out and bought a block of land. All of a sudden I was hungry again. Life's like that.

Brian Cook knows it. Now the players just have to wake up to it.