Featherstone Rovers take legal advice over team boss John Duffy’s departure

John Duffy. PIC Jonathan Gawthorpe
John Duffy. PIC Jonathan Gawthorpe
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FEATHERSTONE ROVERS are looking for a new coach after “parting company” with team boss John Duffy.

Rovers say they have terminated the contract of the former Swinton Lions coach who they have accused of “gross misconduct”.

John Duffy. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

John Duffy. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Duffy was joint-coach of Scotland, along with Wakefield Trinity’s Chris Chester, in the recent European Championships and was due to attend the first day of pre-season on Monday last week.

Rovers say he did not turn up and has not reported in for work since. Duffy, who took over from Jon Sharp in July, 2017, is being linked with a move to his hometown club Leigh Centurions.

A Rovers statement today said: “Duffy was due to attend work last Monday, 12 November 2018, which coincided with the first day of pre-season training.

“Unfortunately he failed to attend work and has not done so in the time since. The club have taken legal advice in relation to issues surrounding Duffy’s conduct and have [yesterday] terminated his contract, as a result of his actions of gross misconduct.

Paul March will be keeping training ticking over at Featherstone. PIC: Paul Butterfield

Paul March will be keeping training ticking over at Featherstone. PIC: Paul Butterfield

“It is disappointing that the club has had to take this stance, especially after Duffy was awarded an extension to his contract, through to the end of the 2020 season. It also appears that Duffy has been engaged in discussions with Leigh Centurions, to take over as head coach.

“Formal action is now being taken against Duffy for breach of contract and Leigh for inducement to breach contract.

“As this is a legal matter, it would be inappropriate for the club to make any additional comments at this stage.

“In the meantime, strength and conditioner Greg Stebbings and reserve team head coach Paul March are leading pre-season training sessions, while the club actively searches for a new head coach.”

Rovers finished fourth in the Betfred Championship in 2017 before ending the year seventh in the Qualifiers.

This year they missed out on a place in the middle-eights, finishing fifth, but went on to win the Championship Shield, beating Leigh in the final.

Since then several of their high-profile players have left the club. Stand-off Martyn Ridyard is also being linked with Leigh.