Lose, lose: Broncos’ brutal Seibold ultimatum
The Broncos will sack coach Anthony Seibold at the end of the season unless he accepts a payout to leave immediately.
News Corp Australia can reveal Seibold will not survive an end-of-season performance review, with his future to be taken out of his hands if the embattled coach rejects a $1 million-plus severance package to depart Red Hill in the coming days.
Seibold's management and Broncos chairman Karl Morris are involved in high-level negotiations, which began last Friday, to end his tumultuous stay at the club with three seasons left on his five-year deal.
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The talks are so concentrated the Broncos board have been kept at arm's length. Morris, as chairman, has been given the sole task of reaching a palatable compromise with Seibold.
Negotiations have been cordial to this point, which is to be expected given the Broncos hierarchy have respect for Seibold and sympathy for the family issues and social media attack which have made his life so stressful.
The Broncos are endeavouring for Seibold to leave on honourable terms and have tabled a seven-figure payout deal for the 45-year-old to agree to a termination before Friday night's clash against the Roosters.
But if Seibold opts to reject the offer and dig his heels in, which he has every contractual right to do, he is hurtling towards a brutal sacking.
The Broncos do not tolerate bottom-four finishes and Seibold's dismal record - 14 wins from 40 matches for a 35 per cent success rate - will give him no bargaining power if he soldiers on toward a post-season review.
Not even five consecutive wins to finish the season will alter the view of Broncos heavy-hitters, who are intent on a new coaching face to drive a revitalisation of the NRL's richest club in 2021.
Tensions between Seibold and Broncos bosses reached the crossroads last week when the Brisbane coach sought private assurances from the board that he would be in charge next season.
Brisbane's executives could not give him that certainty, expediting discussions between Morris and Seibold and the club's subsequent payout offer.
It is understood Seibold was underwhelmed with the offer and will simply continue honouring his contract unless Broncos hierarchy raise the severance-package bar in the coming days.
Seibold, who underwent a COVID test on Monday, contacted the Broncos to organise a return to the bubble, but Brisbane chiefs believe there is no middle ground left for him in the closing five weeks of the season.
He either leaves the club immediately or stays the full five-match journey where his future will be reviewed at the end of the season, leading to his inevitable sacking.
There is no way of redeeming a winter from hell in which the Broncos have won just three of 15 games and with an injury-devastated roster there is likely to be more challenging times ahead including the Roosters clash in which Brisbane are $10 outsiders.
Broncos foundation owner Barry Maranta lamented that Seibold did not have the same experienced network of support coaches around him that Wayne Bennett had when he was the club's first coach.
"When they signed him as a rookie coach the first thing I said was that he needed support," Maranta said.
"He was competing against coaches like Craig Bellamy. When Wayne started we made sure he had people like Jack Gibson, John Monie and Ron Massey helping him.
"If we played in Sydney two of them would be there. Monie moved up here and would be in the coach's box with Bennett all the time. It helped. We took Wayne to the United States to talk to coaches over there. It helped him even it if only reinforced what he did.
"I'm not sure who's fault it was but I just sensed Anthony Seibold did not a great support base around him. Maybe he wanted it that way."
Originally published as Lose, lose: Broncos' brutal Seibold ultimatum