NRL icon Phil Gould believes Anthony Seibold should take some time away from the game “for his own sanity” following the vile rumours online targeting the Brisbane Broncos coach.
Cybersecurity experts have reportedly identified “associates with links to NRL people” as the source of vile rumours about Seibold.
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Seibold’s legal team are said to be closing in on the culprits after a number of scandalous rumours about the coach started circulating online recently.
According to The Courier Mail, the rumours are part of an orchestrated smear campaign to have Seibold sacked.
Gould, who has been in multiple coaching jobs during his career, couldn’t believe the sickening abuse directed at Seibold and said the “best course of action” could be to step away.
“It’s been a terrible attack on this man and his family,” Gould said in his podcast Six Tackles with Gus.
“I would hate to think that it’s been instigated by people within the game or that there has been some ulterior motive here. The most debilitating part about all this is the effect it’s having on his family...I wouldn’t blame him if he walked away from this, for his own sanity and for the peace of mind of his family.
“Being as coaches, we’re competitive people we don’t want to give in to these types of things, but there’s a reality there – that would probably be the best course of action.”
Seibold accountable for Broncos performances: Gould
Gould said while Seibold needed to do what was best for him and his family, it didn’t take away from the issues the Broncos are having on the park in 2020.
The master coach said the Broncos have had a chaotic year and languishing just two points off bottom place means Seibold is still accountable for the team’s performances on the park.
Gould said it was “extraordinary” what was happening to the Broncos with one disaster after another.
One disaster recently included Brisbane's pub lunch earlier this month, which turned out to be very costly with the NRL issuing the Broncos and 10 players fines for breaching biosecurity protocols.
The Broncos have been fined $75,000 and each of the 10 players fined five per cent of their salary, totalling $65,000, after the group attended a lunch at the Everton Park Hotel on August 1.
The players fined for contravening the league's COVID-19 restrictions include regular first-graders David Fifita, Kotoni Staggs, Corey Oates, Corey Paix and Jake Turpin.
Three development players were also among the group and will have a portion of their fines suspended.