LAWYERS for Des Hasler today lodged a statement of claim in the NSW Supreme Court, insisting the Bulldogs breached their contract with the coach by sacking him.
The claim, said to be worth more than $2 million, comes just two months after Hasler was booted from Belmore.
Canterbury publicly spruiked Hasler's two-year contract extension via a press release back in April but ousted him after the club's 2017 season came to a dismal end.
Hasler, who was contracted at Belmore to the end of 2017, reached an agreement to stay on as Bulldogs coach to the end of 2019 for an estimated $1 million a season.
The Canterbury board's decision to about-face and sack Hasler without pay angered the premiership-winning coach, with The Daily Telegraph on September 24 revealing Hasler's legal team was ready to take matters to court.
Bulldogs chairman Ray Dib was adamant the club had no case to answer, stating emphatically that Hasler had never signed a contract extension so the expiration of the existing agreement back in October was valid.
Hasler believes the agreement for him to extend his tenure at Belmore to the end of 2019 was legally binding.
It is understood Canterbury have until December 1 to respond to the statement of claim.
It is still hoped mediation between the two parties may resolve the matter before it ends up in the courts.
Hasler was sacked following a dreadful campaign with Canterbury that resulted in them missing the finals for the first time under his leadership.
It was the first time Hasler had failed to guide his team to the finals since his first season with Manly in 2004.
Hasler had previously guided the club to the 2012 and 2014 grand finals and won premierships with Manly in 2008 and 2011.
Along with Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett, Hasler is one of the few men to have guided a team to multiple premierships in the NRL era.
He and Brian Smith are the only two men of the last 20 years to have coached multiple clubs to grand finals.
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