The Bulldogs schoolgirl sex scandal has cost the club a $2 million major sponsorship deal with family restaurant chain Rashays.
The Bulldogs were on the verge of announcing a deal on Tuesday night, having agreed to terms with Rashays after long-time sponsor Kia left the club for the Brisbane Broncos this year.
Canterbury captain Josh Jackson, who is not involved in the scandal, appears without a sponsor on his jersey at the NRL season launch. Two other players have been suspended by the club.Credit:NRL.com
However after the Bulldogs contacted Rashays to inform them that two players, Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor, had been stood down for having consensual sex with high school girls they met in Port Macquarie, the restaurant chain pulled out of the deal. The girls were above the age of consent and there is no criminal investigation.
The Bulldogs allowed Rashays to withdraw from the deal to which they had agreed in the days prior given their status as a family restaurant chain.
The Herald has also obtained an image of the new jerseys with the Rashays brand on the front, which had been designed as a display model that would have been produced in time for Thursday night's season opener against the Parramatta Eels at Bankwest Stadium.
The Bulldogs had been on the verge of signing Rashay’s as a main sponsor.
It is understood the jerseys were approved for manufacturing on Monday and were sent off to be printed, with some sent to Rashays.
The Herald contacted Rashays owner Rami Ykmour and the Canterbury Bulldogs on Wednesday morning, however both declined to comment.
Canterbury had spent the offseason searching for a major sponsor, with captain Josh Jackson appearing at last week's NRL launch as the only club representative wearing a jersey without a sponsor.
The incident involving Okunbor and Harawira-Naera occurred in Port Macquarie before the club's trial match against Canberra on February 29.
There had been no complaints made by the two 17-year-old girls who came back to the team hotel and engaged in consensual sex.
Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill said the club felt the players didn't live up to the values and morals of the "family club" when they brought the pair back to the team hotel.
While the players did not break the law, they did break the team's policy, which states that women aren't to be brought back to the hotel.
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