Harlequins chief executive officer Laurie Dalrymple has claimed that the departing Mike Brown turned down three contract offers to stay at the club.
Former England fullback Brown went public with his departure from Harlequins, saying that he was told in a “four minute meeting” that he was no longer needed at the club.
However, in an interview with The Telegraph, Harlequins boss Dalrymple has claimed that Harlequins attempted to hold onto club stalwart Brown for next season.
Thank you! pic.twitter.com/y9MbQfmTs7
— Mike Brown (@mikebrown_15) April 3, 2021
“Regarding Mike, we began discussions with him on his contract in February 2020,” Dalrymple explained.
“Subsequently, in December, the club took the decision that we were not going to extend his contract, for multiple reasons: not least, trying to accommodate an ever-changing recruitment, retention landscape; players in our academy developing faster than we’d thought; then, linked to that, looking at how we transition the squad in seasons to come.
“Except, though, in the New Year, we did have a slight change of position on things, and we offered two further contracts to Mike. So, in total, over the last 12 months we have made three contract offers to Mike. He has chosen to turn all of those down.”
‘I was staring down the barrel of unemployment’
Brown was speaking to the Daily Mail about his departure from the club he first joined as a teenager and said that he had no intention of leaving Harlequins at the end of the season.
“Paul Gustard (former Harlequins director of rugby) told me I had no future here and I was staring down the barrel of unemployment,” Brown said.
“I’m 35, with a family to support and I’ve been with Harlequins since I was 18. There was no, ‘Thanks for your efforts, we’ll help you with your future.’
“It was one of the worst feelings of my life. I couldn’t get my head around it. It wasn’t like my legs have gone and I can’t get in the team any more.”
The former England international will join the Newcastle Falcons next season, a move that he insisted he had no intention of making before the meeting with Gustard.