STEVE Price has warned members of the Bulldogs football club not to be fooled by the recent window-dressing being undertaken by the club's board by highlighting the puzzling recent decisions that have ripped at the very heart of a proud organisation.
CEO Raelene Castle, coach Des Hasler and captain James Graham have all left Belmore in differing circumstances with Price pointing to the season-long conjecture surrounding Hasler's future and the treatment of spiritual leader Graham as proof the club has lost its way.
In recent times the club has appointed former Bulldogs legend Dean Pay as the new head coach and brought a raft of former greats back into the fold but Price argues that more is needed, his prospective Bulldogs board boasting deep connections to the club stretching back almost 40 years.
Speaking on NRL 360 Summer Series on Monday night, Price said recent decisions don't make up for the sins of the past, with the club currently facing legal action relating to contract disputes brought by both Hasler and Sharks prop Andrew Fifita.
"All the sounds are coming out that there have been some changes," Price said.
"Obviously there is an election coming up which is quite ironic.
"We just want to see the Bulldogs getting back to being the very best in the competition both on and off the paddock."
Price said that the salary cap mismanagement that forced Graham to leave the club a year early, with the Bulldogs forced to pay a portion of his salary in 2018, is proof the connection to Canterbury's reputation of "the family club" needs urgent attention.
"James Graham having to leave the club because the club took a gamble on the salary cap," Price said when asked about specific decisions made by the board that he has issue with.
"They were told a number of times that (the salary cap) was going to be at a certain level (understood to be $10 million, $600,000 more than what resulted at the end of CBA negotiations) and they gambled that.
"You lose some good people like James Graham who you're going to be paying to play for the Dragons next year.
"The trust has to be there. This year all the talk through the media was whether Des was going to be the coach, whether he wasn't going to be the coach, which players were going to be there, who was being shopped around.
"You can't go out and play your best footy when that type of stuff is happening."
Also on the Price ticket for election are former Bulldogs captain Paul Dunn, former player and coach Chris Anderson, Australian Paralympic Committe CEO and daughter of former Bulldogs chief Peter Moore, Lynne Anderson, and long-time Canterbury Leagues Club general manager John Ballesty.
"I was away from the club for 13 years and you realise how great the Bulldogs were," said Price.
"We're all still very passionate Bulldogs people. All of these people that we are talking about have had a big part to play in the club.
"The body language and the words that were coming out from people both within the club and externally from the club wasn't positive.
"Through the experience of the people that we've got I'm really confident that we can get that back on track."
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