How George Costanza of Seinfeld saves the Bulldogs

The dramatic change at Belmore in just 18 months has left many in the game speechless. You are speechless. What makes it remarkable is how garbled her salary cap was when Gould took over.

He entrusted this to various people in the first few weeks of his tenure. In fact, these concerns have leaked out and made their way into the public domain. Gus blew up, denied it and said it was a problem for the media. He is the lord of his domain.

I’ve seen that happen many times, not just with Gould, but with others as well. Nobody in football can keep a secret and when the story gets out they slam the speculative reports and wonder how that information leaked out, not knowing they accidentally started it.

There are still some salary caps to juggle. Tevita Pangai Jr. was signed prior to Gould’s arrival, and his $925,000 annual contract takes up a lot of space. So does Luke Thompson, who is in the final year of a deal that’s worth a — pretty ridiculously — $800,000.

But things will clear up from 2024 and that will allow Gould to go after Mitchell Moses leaving his contract with the Eels.

Halfback is the missing piece of the Bulldogs puzzle. At Penrith, Gould has vowed never to work with Moses’ manager and cousin Issac Moses again, but if he can swallow some pride and strike a deal, the Bulldogs will boast the competition’s most promising spikes: Crichton, Burton, Moses, Mahoney. It is a spine that has shaped the yin yang.

Stephen Crichton is the latest Panther to sign with the Bulldogs.

Stephen Crichton is the latest Panther to sign with the Bulldogs.Credit:Sydney Morning Herald

Gould also landed Penrith’s super-assistant Cameron Ciraldo, who was weighing a mega deal from the Wests Tigers and whose preference was the Dragons, but he ended up at Belmore. Gus caught his man again.

Of course, Ciraldo has a lot to prove. The game is littered with Next Big Things. Adam O’Brien, who had worked under Craig Bellamy and Trent Robinson, was considered an NBT but now needs a winning record in the first two months of the season to keep his Newcastle job.

However, they suspect that things will get easier for Ciraldo under Gould. The pair worked hand in hand in Penrith in 2018 before and after Gould fired Anthony Griffin. Ciraldo will tell anyone who will listen how much he has learned in that time.

Whatever happens, Gould will continue to polarize as he fulfills his role as football club supermo and influential spokesperson for Channel Nine, publisher of this masthead.

Like Costanza, it is difficult to read because there are multiple Guses: Happy Gus. sad Gus Cyclone Gus. Bawdy Gus… You never know which one you’re going to get.

He constantly enrages rival fans and media types with his contradictory public statements. Trent Barrett wasn’t fired – then he was fired. Josh Reynolds didn’t come to the Bulldogs — then he came to the Bulldogs. Remember, kids, it’s not a lie if you believe it.

He’s mad at this columnist for asking him for comment after he blasted V’landys, Andrew Abdo and Clint Newton in front of 450 people at the Leagues Club Australia National Conference on the Gold Coast last November for not were able to sign the CBA and the salary cap. It was a legitimate story.

Like most power brokers, Gould doesn’t like it when he can’t control his own narrative. Still, he often disseminates any narrative he desires on any subject across various platforms for Nine or his often bizarre Twitter account.

He may not understand the media as well as he thinks – but he understands a lot more about rebuilding football clubs than his critics will ever give him credit for.


Some in Penrith have quietly dismissed the role he has played in their successive Prime Ministerships. It’s a shameful rewriting of history. Without him, the Panthers would have collapsed.

As for the criticism of him poking eyes out at his former club, welcome to the reality of professional sport and a league that operates under a salary cap. Are people really having this conversation? Of course they are. Because it’s Costanza. I mean Phil Gould.

In Another Life, the Bulldogs nurtured their own talent, prompting their fans to wear “bred not bought” t-shirts in 2009 after the Roosters signed Willie Mason, Mark O’Meley, Braith Anasta and Nate Myles had.

Years of power struggles and pandemic-type hoarding mean Bulldogs can no longer afford the luxury of patience. At least not now.

Gould sat back and watched as various administrators plunged Canterbury into the ground and then defied the approaches to save them.

When he finally accepted the job, he hinted that it could take up to a decade to clean up the mess. He pretty much did it on his lunch break.

Here you go. Gus is back baby! He’s got a hand – and didn’t the Bulldogs need it? How George Costanza of Seinfeld saves the Bulldogs

Ryan Sederquist

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