Coach Wayne Bennett could be moved on by the Broncos at the end of the season. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Coach Wayne Bennett could be moved on by the Broncos at the end of the season. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Meninga: The brutal reality of Broncos fallout

AS a rugby league fan, watching the relationship between the Broncos and Wayne Bennett unravel as it has over the past few weeks has saddened me a little.

Neither Bennett nor the club would be where they are today without each other, and I hope both parties remember that - whatever happens over the next few weeks - and show each other the respect each deserves.

If Brisbane have decided that Bennett's time is up and he is no longer the right fit for the Broncos, then that is their decision to make.

Ultimately, the chief executive and the Broncos board have to make decisions they believe are in the best interests of the club.

If that means getting rid of Bennett, who was there when the club started in 1988, then that is their decision and one they will have to live with whatever ramifications there are.

Similarly, as upset as Bennett may be about being moved on, he must understand that fairytale farewells are not a currency in rugby league.

There have been plenty of occasions where Bennett has had to move a player on because he was no longer a good fit for the club. He now can't be upset that the Broncos may be about to do the same thing to him.

Clearly, from what we are hearing about the relationship between the coach and his club in recent times shows that the situation is untenable, and the differences between the two parties cannot be mended.

The amount of stories and speculation swirling around Brisbane is very un-Bronco-like, and shows that both sides of the divide are leaking information to destabilise the other trying to win the war of public opinion by proving their point of view is right.

 

Sacking Anthony Griffin just before the finals has only amplified the problems at Penrith. Picture: Brett Costello
Sacking Anthony Griffin just before the finals has only amplified the problems at Penrith. Picture: Brett Costello

 

I would have thought the events at Penrith surrounding the sacking of Anthony Griffin over the past few weeks would have been a timely lesson why such thinking is flawed.

Griffin's sacking was a shock to everyone, because there does not seem to be a great deal of logic behind putting a club through such turmoil four weeks out from the finals.

Like with Brisbane, if the decision-makers at Penrith don't think Griffin is right for their club, then that is their choice.

But the decision to get rid of him at this stage of the season has only amplified the trauma for the club and the coach.

The reputation of both parties has suffered considerably, and their respective futures will now suffer, because of the damage inflicted and suffered by both sides.

The Broncos and Bennett need to be careful about how much of the mud they are currently flinging at each other will stick.

Both sides also need to be mindful that the aftershocks of whatever happens at the Broncos extend far beyond the perceived power struggle at the top of the club.

It will reverberate all the way through the club right to its foundations - the fans.

 

 

When a coach is sacked from any club, it is not just him who loses his job - assistant coaches, trainers, conditioners and other specialist staff all have their futures put under a cloud as well.

Whoever the new coach is, he will be entitled to choose his own staff. The brutal reality of it is, he is unlikely to choose people who were loyal to the man he replaced.

These staff may be perfectly capable at their roles, but they will all be out of a job through no fault of their own.

These are real people - with mortgages, families to support and bills to pay. And through no fault of their own, they may be out of a job.

It may be easy for a head coach to pick up a job somewhere else and continue to earn big money. That may not be as easy for all of the people that work for him.

As juicy and enticing as speculation about sacking coaches may be for the rest of us, the people in charge of these decisions need to understand that the cost of making them is far greater than a payout figure on one man's contract.

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