Home Sports Phil Gould explains who was responsible for Viliame Kikau picture that kicked...

Phil Gould explains who was responsible for Viliame Kikau picture that kicked off a firestorm

71
0


Phil Gould reveals a ‘rogue security guard’ leaked THAT controversial picture of Viliame Kikau signing for Bulldogs as general manager insists the club went to great lengths to keep new signing secret

  • Panthers second-rower Viliame Kikau has signed for the Bulldogs in 2023
  • The news was prematurely broken after a leaked photo was released online
  • The image included Kikau, Bulldogs boss Phil Gould and coach Trent Barrett 
  • Gould has now revealed the details of how the image became public 

Bulldogs general manager Phil Gould has revealed the details behind the leaked photo of 2023 signing Viliame Kikau that went viral in 2021.

Last November, a photo of Kikau flanked by Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett and football manager Phil Gould was leaked, revealing he’d signed with rival NRL club Canterbury.

It angered many Penrith Panthers supporters, including some who booed Kikau at the grand final parade following their premiership success. 

A security officer accessed CCTV footage to grab this still of Gould, Kikau and Barrett posing for a promotional photo. It was not intended for release until late 2022.

A security officer accessed CCTV footage to grab this still of Gould, Kikau and Barrett posing for a promotional photo. It was not intended for release until late 2022.

Now Gould has revealed to Nine’s 100% Footy how the photo found its way onto social media. 

‘It was a rogue security guard,’ he said.

‘We took some photos of him in the shirt because he’d be going to the World Cup at the end of the year and we probably wouldn’t see him until January and we needed something promotional.

‘Trent [coach Trent Barrett] wanted a photo with him, and then they asked me to come into the photo.

‘When I went upstairs to see where the camera was I said ‘who’s got access to that?’ And it just turned out to be a fan, who happened to be a Panther fan.

‘He didn’t leak it – he sent it to another bloke who was a Panther fan, and he leaked it.’

Gould is in the process of rebuilding the battling Bulldogs and has been on a player signing spree, including securing the services of Kikau from 2023 onward.

Gould is in the process of rebuilding the battling Bulldogs and has been on a player signing spree, including securing the services of Kikau from 2023 onward.

Kikau had previously told the Sydney Morning Herald that he would not have taken the picture if he knew it was going to become public ahead of time.

‘It would have been stupid [to pose for the photo] had I known that photo was going to come out,’

‘Nothing was planned. It was strictly confidential and meant to be private.

‘You can’t get away with anything these days. It was pretty disappointing. I was really disappointed about it actually.

‘It was only meant to be put out once everything was made official and to let everyone know I had signed.’

Kikau is one of the most devastating edge runners in the competition and won a premiership with Penrith in 2021.

Kikau is one of the most devastating edge runners in the competition and won a premiership with Penrith in 2021.

Penrith Panthers captain Nathan Cleary sympathised with Kikau over the photo and the consequent backlash from irate Panthers fans.

‘It’s one of those things, and it’s not surprising in the rugby league world for things to get leaked,’ he said.

‘I felt for him because I know it had hurt him with that photo being leaked and with him having to come out the next day to all our fans.

‘We already knew he was leaving. We’ll miss him a lot, not just as a footy player but as a mate. I love playing alongside him. He’s an absolute beast and an all-round good bloke.’

Advertisement

Previous articleFatty liver disease symptoms: ‘Extreme tiredness’ can be a symptom of NAFLD
Next articleCould Channel 4 end up in American hands? Paramount and Discovery are touted as buyers for £1bn

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here