NRL boss David Gallop believes it will be “curtains” on Todd Carney’s career if he steps out of line again but is willing to support one last chance for the troubled star.
Cronulla are set to announce the signing of the controversial playmaker on Wednesday but the club and Carney will need to meet with the NRL who will issue a warning that any misconduct will not be tolerated.
“The meeting is a chance to remind Todd that his reputation, whether he likes it or not, is a very poor one,” Gallop told AAP on Tuesday.
“He can’t afford to breach his contract – any clear misconduct will be the end of the road for him in most people’s eyes.”
Carney has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Sharks, who will become his third NRL club after he was let go by both Canberra and the Sydney Roosters in the wake of off-field disciplinary issues, mostly alcohol related.
Gallop however, seems adamant that this is the Test five-eighth’s last chance and any misdemeanour will again place his playing career in serious jeopardy.
“He needs to work out how he plans to handle alcohol and a starting point will be to only make promises of not drinking if he intends to keep his side of the deal,” Gallop said.
“If he does drink in high profile places late at night then he is running a big risk that something will go wrong.
“If that happens it will quite probably be curtains and a great shame for him as we all enjoy watching what he does on the field.
“What he does off it is what he will be remembered for unless he takes responsibility.
“I would like nothing more than for him to prove his many critics wrong.”
After already being suspended from the game once by the NRL in 2008, Carney faced de-registration again in March this year after being convicted of drink-driving.
The Roosters were forced to present the NRL with a five-point plan Carney would be made to stick to, including a $10,000 fine, mandatory counseling and work with alcohol support groups.
Despite his off-field issues, the 2010 Dally M medal winner attracted the interest of a handful of clubs, including Gold Coast who offered a modest three-year deal.
But the Sharks are believed to have secured his signature with a deal worth $700,000 over two years.