Wests Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis has had private text messages leaked by the host of a fan podcast.
The under fire Tigers boss accused Westslife podcaster Rob Bechara of “venting his spleen” in a text message tirade.
The Tigers are in crisis following another crushing loss to the Bulldogs on Sunday.
The club is still looking for its next head coach with interim coach Brett Kimmorley’s tenure beginning with two defeats following the departure of former coach Michael Maguire.
In another dramatic development, it was reported star halfback Luke Brooks will on Tuesday afternoon be dropped for the first time in his career.
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The club has also been scorched by NRL commentators for its recruitment strategy after Tyrone Peachey was given permission to begin looking for a new club just six months into the two-year deal he signed last year.
Now Hagipantelis is in the headlines for a new reason after his angry SMS swipe at the podcast host.
Hagipantelis was responding to an invitation to be a guest on the show, which claims to have 3000 downloads a week, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“What could possibly convince me to go on your podcast given the vitriol and abuse you have directed to the Wests Tigers in general but to individuals within the organization in particular?” Hagipantelis wrote.
“How you call yourself a fan of the club is difficult to understand. You do nothing but criticize. I have never seen you post anything positive about the club.
“We are not immune to legitimate criticism. But the venom with which you spew forth your abuse is disconcerting if not disgraceful.”
Hagipantelis described Bechara as “hypocritical” for criticizing the club when stories are leaked to media outlets, when he himself has claimed to have received inside information from figures within the organisation.
He also took a swipe at Bechara for not signing up as a member of the club.
He said Bechara’s criticism of the club on the podcast showed “a need to be relevant”.
“As to your kind invitation to appear on your podcast, I decline so that you can comfortably continue with venting your spleen, which obviously appeases your need to be relevant,” he wrote.
“From my perspective, you are not of any utility to my role as chair or the club itself.”
Hagipantelis also wrote: “You are perfectly entitled to your opinion, but it carries no weight whatsoever. It may have if you had even committed to become a member and put your money where your mouth is. You don’t even do that.”
Bechara also leaked Hagipantelis’ email address.
The Tigers’ boss said the move “has failed” if it was an “attempt to inconvenience or intimidate”.
Hagipantelis said on SEN Breakfast on Tuesday morning the club hopes to announce its next head coach within the next two weeks.
The Tigers next play the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, the Warriors first game on home soil for more than two years.
News.com.au has contacted the Wests Tigers for comment.