Trent Barrett could be on his way out before season’s end.
Trent Barrett could be on his way out before season’s end.

Fresh twist in Barrett coaching farce

TRENT Barrett could be out the door at Manly before the end of the season, according to a report suggesting the club wants to sack him before the final round clash against Brisbane.

Speaking on Fox League program Controversy Corner on Sunday night, The Daily Telegraph's Phil Rothfield said Sea Eagles owner Scott Penn would talk to lawyers today to discuss the possibility of terminating the coach's contract early.

Barrett is serving his notice after handing in his resignation in July over what he believes is a lack of support from Manly when it comes to resources and football department staff. Penn criticised Barrett last week in the media, accusing him of not acting "in the spirit" of the club, and the former NSW playmaker finally responded after weeks of staying silent on the matter.

According to a Daily Telegraph report, some of Barrett's grievances include having to bring his own backyard furniture to Manly's Narrabeen base, hire chairs for the locker room and work without a recruitment manager or welfare manager for extended periods of time.

Barrett complained neither he nor the players were being given the support they need - an accusation which angered Penn and the club to the point they are reportedly looking for a way to get rid of the coach.

Trent Barrett may be gone before the end of the year.
Trent Barrett may be gone before the end of the year.

"I'm not convinced he'll be there at Suncorp Stadium next week for their final game of the season," Rothfield said on Controversy Corner.

"I'm saying that as a result of Trent Barrett speaking to the Sunday Telegraph in detail about the problems he's had with facilities at Manly, Scott Penn, the chairman and owner of the club has told Dean Ritchie for a story in The Daily Telegraph that he'll be visiting his lawyer first thing in the morning to look at options to sack Trent Barrett tomorrow.

"It's a case of where he (Barrett) has come out quite powerfully and quite strong today criticising the owners and the management of the club over lack of action over the last three years."

Barrett is contracted to Manly for another 12 months, but the breakdown in his relationship with club powerbrokers and the public nature of the disastrous civil war on Sydney's Northern Beaches means staying at the helm for 2019 now appears impossible.

The ugly spat could also harm Manly's pursuit of a new coach because Barrett airing his problems with the club set-up could dissuade rival coaches and aspiring NRL mentors from committing to a club with so many fractures.

Michael Maguire, who led the Rabbitohs to the 2014 premiership, has been linked with the vacant roles at Manly and Penrith next year. He has also been mentioned as a possible replacement for Wayne Bennett once he completes the final year of his contract with the Broncos next year.

And if any of those clubs opt to chase after him, Maguire insists they'd be getting a new man.

"I'm a lot wiser coach now than I think I was in 2014," he said on Sunday Night with Matty Johns on Fox Sports.

"I think my knowledge now across the game with this down time has given me a look at the whole organisation."

Pressed on whether he would consider Manly, Maguire said he didn't need top-notch resources.

Trent Barrett may be looking for a new job in 2019.
Trent Barrett may be looking for a new job in 2019.

He said the most important factor for him would be "people".

"And strong leaders, you need strong leaders within your organisation right up and down the areas. And playing group is obviously a really big part of that," he said.

Maguire insisted he had yet to be approached by the Broncos, but said he would definitely consider them because of their facilities and strong leadership.

"They've got everything they require up there to be successful and I think it's a very successful organisation," he said.

As for Penrith, he admitted he would need to sit down with club boss Phil Gould about what kind of structure he would have in place for his new coach. Gould has fired two coaches before their contract expired, including a controversial falling out with Anthony Griffin earlier this month.

"When you've got a general manager that has been a coach, he's going to have very strong opinions. And he's been very successful in his own right," Maguire said.

"So it's one there you'd have to sit down and go through that club and determine what style of coach will suit Penrith."

- with AAP



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