Erin Molan has made stunning claims about “serious issues” between Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold and his players.
The Broncos have gone from one scandal to the next in recent weeks, with multiple breaches of the code’s biosecurity restrictions the only thing worse than their horror on-field form.
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The club has won just one of their last 11 games and are facing a hefty penalty after another potential COVID-19 bubble breach.
Up to 10 players enjoyed a pub lunch at the Everton Park Hotel on August 1 under the assumption it was permissible under the relaxed Project Apollo protocols at the time.
Queensland police on Thursday concluded their own probe into the pub visit, stating the players had not breached any general public health directions.
But the NRL is reportedly waiting on Everton Park Hotel CCTV footage that could reveal a breach of the code’s additional health measures, designed to ensure the competition marches on.
The Everton Park Hotel incident comes after Tevita Pangai Jnr has hit with a $30,000 fine and stood down indefinitely for his barber shop visit last Saturday, while trainer Allan Langer is among three staff stood down after attending another private function at the Caxton Hotel.
And coach Seibold is also in a 14-day COVID-19 hold after attending to a private family matter in Sydney after last weekend’s game.
Making matters worse, State of Origin forward David Fifita is walking out on the club at the end of the season to join the Gold Coast Titans.
“It’s embarrassing,” Molan said on SEN radio on Friday.
“You look at the talent and the calibre of players in that squad - these aren’t battlers, they’re really not. They are incredible players.
“Yes, they’re a little bit younger than a lot of other sides but that shouldn’t matter.
“If every player in that team did their best every week they could be a top four side … there are no excuses there.
“There are serious issues with the coach and the players and with that relationship and something’s got to fold, something’s got to move … it’s shambolic.”
Erin Molan backs Ben Ikin for Broncos CEO
The Channel Nine presenter threw her support behind club great Ben Ikin as a potential saviour.
Ikin has expressed his desire to take over from current CEO Paul White.
“Brisbane are such a shambles at the moment that club needs and deserves someone who is 100 per cent committed to just doing that (CEO job),” she said.
“He’ll get it. He’s very highly-regarded. He’s a great thinker, he’s been part of boards and organisations before … he’ll get that role and do a great job.”
Meanwhile, the Broncos have been cleared to play their Round 14 clash with Canberra despite the investigation into the pub visit still being underway.
Given the incident occurred nearly two weeks ago, players who visited the pub will have a COVID-19 test.
But they will not be required to enter a COVID-19 hold like Seibold, Langer or Pangai Jr.
“We are conducting a detailed investigation to ensure we have all available evidence before determining the need for sanctions,” interim NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said.
“It is important we have all the facts and evidence before making a decision.
“Right from the start of this pandemic we have made it clear if protocols are breached players and officials will face strong sanctions.”