Coaching drama reaches new boiling point

TRENT Barrett finds himself in a tough spot at Manly with Sea Eagles chief executive Lyall Gorman saying the club’s coach drama should be resolved within a fortnight.

After Des Hasler was brought back into the club earlier this week, the club currently have two head coaches on their books.

Negotiations remain ongoing between the Sea Eagles and their former coach, as he officially remains an employee of Manly through until next July after handing in his 12 months’ notice midway through the season.

Channel 9 News spoke with Manly chairman and owner Scott Penn, who said Hasler’s signing and Barrett’s resignation midway through the year means players shouldn’t be confused by who their leader will be when pre-season training begins in early November.

“He was brought into the club as head coach. I think the reality is he has resigned so the club has to take its position,” Penn said.

“This is not personal, this is just as a company we need to protect our position and make sure that we’ve got continuity of service for 2019.”

Barrett said he wasn’t sure of the next steps.

“It is what it is and we’ll work though it,” Barrett said. “I have no idea what’s happening at the moment so I think it’s all I can say.”

Trent Barrett is at the centre of the Sea Eagles coaching drama.Source:AAP

Hasler is already making himself comfortable at the Sea Eagles, bringing back former recruitment manager Noel ‘Crusher’ Cleal, who was responsible for finding such stars as Jamie Lyon, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans and Damian Cook.

Gorman said there was no chance players would return to pre-season training on November 5 with both Hasler and Barrett in the head-coaching role.

“That will be resolved over the next couple of weeks, I would have thought,” Gorman told the Big Sports Breakfast on Tuesday.

“Probably by brains a bit smarter than me with lawyers and so on. But hopefully respectfully and with dignity and class, though.”

Manly management and Barrett have been at loggerheads since the young coach lost patience with the club midway through the season.

Already enduring a season from hell both on and off the field, Barrett cited a lack of football department resources in his claims Manly had not fulfilled their contract renewal in the previous summer.

The situation became clearly untenable in August when Penn claimed Barrett had acted against the spirit of the club and admitted signing a rookie coach “hasn’t worked”.

The situation further deteriorated a week later when Barrett went public on the matter, doubling down on complaints about the facilities at the club’s Narrabeen base.

Both sides are desperate to avoid giving ground in the battle, with the issue having been considered a legal matter over contracts for months.

Des Hasler won premierships with the Sea Eagles in 2008 and 2011.Source:Getty Images

But the Sea Eagles defended their decision to employ Hasler without a decision being reached on Barrett, reasoning things had to be in place for the full 2019 season when players return to training next month.

“I think they are two different things,” Gorman said.

“We’ve got to have our players come back into a fully primed professional environment on November 5.

“That can’t be one that is going to fall down halfway through the season. We need that continuity from day one.

“This notion of people giving notice in the workplace happens every day. It’s not a foreign concept.”

— with Scott Bailey, AAP

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