Anthony Seibold is expected to take over as Manly head coach following the sacking of Des Hasler – and several rugby league legends are hoping to first communicate their terms to the volatile club.
After weeks of speculation, the Sea Eagles confirmed on Thursday night that Hashler’s contract had been terminated.
It comes after a power struggle between Hasler and the club’s senior management – a battle which Cooper Cronk called “ridiculous”.
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The consequences of the decision to ax Hašler could be ugly for both sides in the discussions to “try to find an amicable solution” financially.
Manly’s best player, Tom Trbojevic, has also called an emergency meeting with his manager on Friday to discuss his future following the news.
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With the Sea Eagles set to announce Seibold as their new coach, Cronk and Greg Alexander stressed the instability must be resolved before he arrives.
“There are obviously some issues at Manly so if I’m the new coach I want to clean them up and fix them,” Cronk said on Fox League’s RLWC Preview Show.
“Seibold is coming from a tough history with the Broncos – do you want to jump back into an unstable environment?
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“Seibold can coach, I still believe that, but does he want to go to a club that is unstable after what he has been through? Or does he go in and say ‘these are my terms, put these things in place, clean whatever needs to be cleaned and then I’ll come in’?
“I can only think that Seibold told (CEO) Tony Mestrov,” Alexander added.
“I can only think that Seibold said ‘I’m not coming until you solve this joint – and you solve it at all levels’.”
Hasler has been under pressure – rightly or wrongly – ever since the rainbow jersey saga. Manly lost their last seven games after the incident and finished 11th.
Braith Anasta, who said he was “still a bit shocked” by the news, does not believe the shirt drama alone is to blame, but it “reveals massive rifts at the club between the coach and management”.
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Meanwhile, Alexander said the outcome was “inevitable” given the arguments “about power” had been going on for the past month.
But Cronk believes both Hasler and the Sea Eagles powerbrokers should have found a solution much sooner, with the club now on the back foot heading into 2023.
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“When the heads of your football department and the boss of your club are fighting over who is in control, you have zero chance of winning the competition,” he said.
“The losers are the players and the fans.
“The two sides should have met months ago and worked out a crisis plan, because the best part is that they have a chance to win the competition. Now he has to wipe it all and start over?
“Manly is Des Hasler and Des Hasler is Manly.” They should have fixed this a long time ago.
“They should have broken bread, come together in the middle and come up with a plan for Manly to win the competition, not just fight for power.”
“To win a competition, you all have to run in the same direction.”
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