Craig Bellamy is worth $3 million
THE newspaper headline during the week shouted that Storm premiership-winning coach Craig Bellamy was to be offered a new $3 million deal.
Yet the story that followed was somewhat ambiguous.
The Dally M coach of the year is already on contract until the end of next season and club bosses want that term extended by two more years.
The confusing part of the story however, was whether Bellamy's new deal would be $3 million for three years, or $3 million for the two-year extension.
Okay, so I'm being finicky. But the point I want to make is that if anyone in the NRL - coach, player or administrator - is worth $1.5 million a season, it is Craig Bellamy.
In fact, after his success rate and achievements in 2017, a damn good case could be argued for him to be paid $3 million a season.
That is how superior he is, and what he means to Melbourne and the continued development and support of the game in the deep south.
Bellamy has just finished his 15th season as Storm coach and in that period they have missed the finals once - in 2010 when the team played for no points because of salary cap rorting.
His record stands at 269 wins and two draws from
395 games, a success rate of 68%.
Of the elite level coaches in Australia since 1908 who have more than 150 matches on their CV, only Norm Provan in charge of the great St George teams of the '60s has a better winning percentage (68.5).
Coaching icons of the ilk of Jack Gibson, Wayne Bennett and Bob Fulton are in Bellamy's shadow and big Norm is very much in his sights.
Those with a negative agenda - and there will be some - will say that coach Bellamy has had a dream run.
They will argue that with three of the best players of the modern era in his stable for almost his entire stint at the Storm he has had a decided advantage.
That may be so. But we should not forget it was Bellamy who nurtured these three kids from Brisbane Norths; it was Bellamy who gave them their start in the NRL; and it was Bellamy who instilled in them a desire and a culture that has driven all three to unimaginable career heights.
But he has not only had success with talented rookies. Bellamy still thrives on the challenge of turning leftovers into main courses with his most recent rags-to-riches story Josh Addo-Carr. Unwanted by the Tigers last year, the winger scored 23 tries in 2017 including a double in the grand final.
The status of Bellamy as a coach has grown to such an extent that if he came on the open market I suggest each of the 15 other NRL clubs would clamour for his signature. And, most would willingly stump up $1.5 million a season to secure him.
To pinch a line from my favourite rugby league anthem, Craig Bellamy is 'simply the best'.