Another of Penrith’s superstars is set to the leave the club, with a statement confirming that Stephen Crichton’s 2023 campaign with the Panthers would be his last.
“Penrith Panthers can confirm that the club was notified overnight by Stephen Crichton’s management group that he will be seeking opportunities elsewhere in 2024,” a club statement read.
“Contrary to media reports, the club made a substantial offer in May 2022 for Stephen to remain at the Panthers and were disappointed the club could not reach an agreement at that point in time.”
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Crichton debuted in 2019 and has been a mainstay in the Penrith backline since bursting onto the scene in 2020, ending that campaign by being named centre of the year, before scoring the winning try in the grand final a year later.
“It was the hardest decision to make, but now my full focus is on the 2023 season and finishing my time at Panthers as strong as I can,” Crichton said.
“It’s going to be tough to leave my teammates, but we will have our chance to make more memories this year. I know my friendships at Panthers won’t finish here but will last forever.”
The club said that negotiations were put on hold as uncertainty lingered over the salary cap going forward.
“Although Panthers is disappointed by the outcome, the club respects Stephen’s decision, and understands the situation is exacerbated by salary cap pressure based on the club’s recent success,” CEO Matt Cameron said.
“The club thanks Stephen for his efforts and is looking forward to seeing him represent the Panthers for the remainder of the 2023 NRL season.”
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