Broncos CEO banned from coach selection
Departing Broncos CEO Paul White has refused to stand down immediately but will be excluded from Brisbane's search for a new coach following the failure of Anthony Seibold.
Seibold officially severed ties with the Broncos on Wednesday, ending a 20-month tenure which has seen the NRL's glamour club slump to 15th spot on the ladder.
White played a key role in the sacking of foundation coach Wayne Bennett in 2018 and appointment of Seibold to a controversial five-year contract.
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The decision ultimately proved to be wrong, with Seibold securing a seven-figure payout to leave the Broncos with more than three years remaining on his deal.
The Broncos have grown into a $52 million powerhouse during White's 10-year reign as chief executive.
But their premiership drought now stretches 14 years, with Seibold becoming the fourth coach sacked during White's tenure which has also included Bennett, Ivan Henjak and Anthony Griffin.
White will depart the club on October 31, outlining his intention to resign last year, and he will not play a significant role in the appointment of Seibold's successor given he won't work with the coach next season.
"I'll do what the board requires me to do," White said.
"I understand my tenure is coming to an end. If the board decides it's their decision then I fully respect that.
"If they want me to be involved in any capacity I will do what they ask.
"I'm not going to dictate my involvement."
White was Seibold's greatest ally at the Broncos.
Both products of Rockhampton, White pushed hard to bring Seibold to Red Hill and secured the Dally M coach of the year from South Sydney for the 2020 season in October, 2018.
Seibold's move north was expedited following the messy sacking of Bennett but it has turned out to be a disastrous appointment.
The Broncos have suffered the two biggest losses in their 32-year history - 58-0 to Parramatta and 59-0 to Sydney Roosters - under Seibold and are fighting to avoid the wooden spoon.
White refused to shoulder the blame for Seibold's appointment and was adamant it was the right decision at the time.
"There is a collective accountability around those decisions," he said.
"I'm as accountable as anyone. The board are involved, but I'm as accountable as anyone within the organisation.
"South Sydney had given him a four-year offer and wanted to keep him and we were competing with that offer.
"At the time we were judged quite positively for moving in that direction. With the benefit of hindsight people now make judgment.
"Every decision has an element of risk in it. It could have gone in two directions. At the time it was the right decision, I fully believe that.
"It hasn't worked out and that's coaching. I think Anthony will coach again and have success."
White last week came under fire from Broncos legends Glenn Lazarus and Kerrod Walters, who called for him to step down immediately so the club can begin rebuilding.
But White was adamant he would remain in the role until a new CEO could be ushered in.
"I'll be here until the board selects a new CEO and can do a handover," he said.
"I'm not going to be wedded to having to leave on October 31 but it will be around that time. I've given the board a commitment I will do that.
"People have given me some career advice to leave now but there's only a short period of time between now and the end of October."
Seibold reveals overhaul contributed to downfall
Anthony Seibold has hit back at claims he lost the Brisbane Broncos' playing group but admitted his investment in youth contributed to his demise as coach.
Seibold exited the Broncos on Wednesday following a mostly unsuccessful 20 months at the helm of the NRL's flagship club.
Seibold's tenure ended with a 35 per cent winning record, with the Broncos tasting victory only 14 times in his 40 games in charge since 2019.
Seibold presided over the two biggest defeats in Broncos history, a 58-0 finals humiliation to the Eels last year and a 59-0 debacle against the Roosters in Round 4.
Seibold's persona was a stark contrast to that of his predecessor Wayne Bennett, whose man management was lauded ahead of technical coaching ability.
Seibold admitted he was closer to some Broncos players than others, but denied he lost the dressing room and fell victim to a player revolt.
"Not at all," he said.
"A team is like a family - you're closer to some of your family than others. Some guys are a lot more attached to you than others.
"We've got a really interesting mix of guys in the locker room. I'm fond of the group.
"It was a really emotional morning. I'm not afraid to say I cried in front of the players because I care about them a lot and committed a lot to the group.
"It was an emotional morning with the players and plenty of hugs.
"You connect with people. You're not going to connect with everyone, but you connect, you're in a footy team in the locker room.
"I can look at myself in the mirror and say I've given it my best shot."
The Broncos finished eighth in Seibold's first season at the club last year, limping into the finals with an 11-12 (one draw) record before being bulldozed by Parramatta.
Their 2020 campaign kicked off with back-to-back wins before COVID-19 shutdown the NRL for two months.
But something at Red Hill changed dramatically when the season resumed in late May.
The Broncos were trounced by Parramatta in the season reboot blockbuster before being humiliated at Suncorp Stadium by the Roosters the following week.
Seibold's tenure became untenable as the Broncos slumped to 15th on the ladder with 12 losses from their past 13 games, prompting the club to pull the trigger and negotiate a payout with three years remaining on his contract.
A multitude of reasons for the Broncos' plight have been discussed, with injuries undoubtedly playing a role.
But Seibold admitted his decision to overhaul Brisbane's squad over the past 20 months and invest in youth was a contributing factor to the club's slide.
"Possibly, but I've got great belief in that locker room," he said.
"I'm not going to be someone who death rides the Broncos every week.
"My legacy is not in premierships or finals footy, it's what Tom Dearden, Xavier Coates, Kotoni Staggs, Tom Flegler, Pat Carrigan, what those young guys achieve down the track.
"I'm very close to those guys. I've received so much support from those young blokes over the last week or two. I'll be their biggest supporter from afar.
"To achieve success at this level you need consistency and continuity and we haven't been able to see or do that because of the unavailability of players.
"We've had over $5 million of our salary cap out for a large portion of the year. Other clubs have had challenging times as well but they've had experience to cover for it.
"We did a particularly good job winning seven from nine games last year to make the playoffs then started this year exceptionally well.
"For whatever reason since the COVID break…it's had a significant impact on our group."
Seibold's assistant Peter Gentle will remain as interim coach for the remaining five games of the season, starting with Friday night's daunting showdown with the Roosters in Sydney.
Gentle has coached the past two matches while Seibold was in COVID quarantine.
Originally published as Broncos CEO banned from coach selection