Revealed: The contract clause that would allow Cleary to walk out on mega Panthers deal

Nathan Cleary may have inked a multimillion-dollar extension alongside his dad and coach Ivan until the end of 2027, but there is a reported clause that would allow him to walk out on the club before the deal ends.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Nathan’s contract has a get-out clause in it that could see the superstar halfback become a free agent if Ivan is sacked before the end of 2027.

The Cleary’s inked eye-watering extensions a fortnight ago which will see Nathan earn $1.1 million per season, while Ivan will become one of the highest-paid NRL coaches on over $1 million a year.

But if things were to go pear-shaped at Penrith and Ivan was sacked, his son could choose to follow him out the door. The clause is not valid however if Ivan retires or chooses to walk out like he did with the Tigers to re-join the Panthers in 2019.

If Ivan’s contract was terminated mid-season, Nathan would have to see out the rest of the season first before leaving.

The Herald reports the Panthers board unanimously agreed to the terms of Nathan’s deal.

The revelation comes after the Knights finally eradicated the controversial — and distracting — clauses from Kalyn Ponga’s contract.

Ponga signed a five-year deal last week which will keep him at the Knights until the end of 2027.

The new contract wiped out the clauses that were in his previous deal which gave the star fullback get-out options in his favour for 2023 and 2024.

It was welcome news for Knights fans who had to endure months of speculation surrounding the future of their club’s best player.

Currently, it seems highly unlikely that the Panthers will axe Ivan. The club won the minor premiership in 2020, the premiership in 2021 and has started 2022 with an undefeated seven-game run.

But stranger things have happened.

The Rabbitohs won the premiership in 2014 but in 2016 they finished 12th and coach Michael Maguire was sacked the following season.

Former Cowboys coach Paul Green was sacked five years after taking the club to it’s maiden premiership.