Manly have parted ways with Des Hasler despite the coach sensationally declaring on Wednesday that he would be at the club in 2023.
Hasler reportedly told the club on Wednesday that he'd guide the Sea Eagles next season, but the club has opted to part ways with the coach after a board meeting on Thursday.
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Speculation had been swirling for weeks that Hasler would depart Brookvale this off-season.
The Sea Eagles lost their last six games of the 2022 season as the fallout from the pride jersey saga divided a playing group that had made the top four the season before.
Former South Sydney and Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold is viewed as the top choice for the job, with former NSW Origin coach Laurie Daley also linked with a football department role.
The huge development came after Tom and Jake Trbojevic's manager said they were "concerned" about staying at Manly due to the instability.
"They have expressed concern to me about the instability at the club. It has got them worried," manager Paul Sutton told Nine News.
"They have not spoken to me about leaving the club but they are concerned about staying there."
Both Tom and Jake Trobojevic are under contract at the Sea Eagles until the end of 2026.
Manly chief executive Scott Penn said earlier this week that bridges would need to be mended for Hasler to return in 2023.
"We have a premiership-winning team, what we need is a football department who can get us back there as soon as possible," he told Nine News.
“We’ve had a significant board meeting... We’ve been talking to Des and his manager for some time and we’re trying to find a resolution. We’re not quite there yet.
“We’re still in discussion to be fair, but we need to bring this to a head.”
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Hasler was set to earn about $950,000 on the final year of his contract next year, with an early termination of the deal expected to cost the Sea Eagles $450,000.
He is now likely to pursue legal action against the club due to its handling of the pride jersey fiasco, which 'compromised his ability to fulfil his contractual obligations'.
Penn confirmed on Wednesday that Seibold will join the coaching staff, but wouldn't confirm in what capacity.
“Anthony has been at the club before, he demonstrated phenomenal intellect, he’s a great tactician, he’s really good with the players and he’s shown he’s got credentials as a head coach,” Penn added.
“We’re still working through our pathway whether that’s assistant to start or the full process but right now we have identified him as someone we’re very interested in and someone who certainly had a few false starts himself but he’s very capable and would do a tremendous job.”
The Manly owner admitted that it was an "emotional" and regrettable situation that the club finds itself in.
“This is an incredibly emotional issue,” Penn said.
“Des walked out on us back in 2011 and I was the one that picked up the phone to bring him back to the club when no one else wanted him.
“It’s not a place that we want to be, let’s be real. It’s a disappointing place for all of us and it’s very emotional.”
Hasler is the most recent coach to take Manly to the premiership, doing so in 2008 and 2011, before leaving the club for a stint at Canterbury.
After two grand final losses with the Bulldogs, Hasler returned to Brookvale in 2019 to become the second-most capped coach in the club's history behind Bob Fulton.
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