'Pathetic': Brisbane Broncos legend slams club 'facade'

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, coach Anthony Seibold addresses Broncos players at training.
Anthony Seibold's tenure was a key topic of discussion at Brisbane's AGM. Pic: Getty

Brisbane Broncos shareholders would justifiably have been demanding answers after a disastrous start to the NRL season that sees their proud club sit third-last on the ladder.

On Tuesday, Brisbane's board of directors addressed those shareholders and among other things, guaranteed coach Anthony Seibold's future - for now.

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Broncos chairman Karl Morris made assurances that Seibold would remain at the helm until at least the end of the year but revealed the under-fire coach faces an end of season review.

Seibold was a hot topic at the Broncos' virtual annual general meeting (AGM) with unhappy shareholders submitting questions via email about the besieged coach after the Broncos slumped to seven losses in their past eight games.

However, chairman of the Brisbane Broncos Old Boys Chris Johns claims those questions were either hand-picked by the board or not answered properly.

Johns spoke with the Courier Mail's Peter Badel after the AGM, labelling it a "facade" and claiming that the tough questions were simply not addressed adequately.

Badel gave a summary of Johns' angry account when asked by NRL 360 host Paul Kent on Fox Sports what transpired at the AGM.

“Pete I heard after the AGM today that some people have complained that the questions were tabled for Karl Morris and Paul White to answer were hand picked and the really tough questions were all avoided,” Kent asked.

Badel said Johns' main gripe seemed to stem from a perceived "cherry picking" of questions that the board addressed.

“I spoke to one of the shareholders, Chris Johns, he was on the AGM and he called it a ‘facade’. He said it was a ‘pathetic AGM’,” Badel said.

“In his mind he said ‘the questions that were emailed through weren’t relayed properly by Karl Morris and (Broncos CEO) Paul White’.

“He said some of the questions, the curly ones anyway were ‘modified and weren’t fully answered’. He said they ‘cherry picked softer questions to appease the message they wanted to disseminate to the public’.

“That’s Chris Johns’ view of course, Karl Morris and Paul White may feel differently but Chris Johns didn’t feel that he got the answers that he was looking for today at an AGM that he described as a ‘facade’”.

Club greats have already called for Seibold's head after Brisbane plummeted to 14th following last round's 48-0 thumping from Wests Tigers.

The Broncos are at risk of being on the wrong side of another lop-sided result when they line up against heavyweights Melbourne on Friday night.

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold is seen here at Broncos training.
Anthony Seibold's coaching future is set to be reassessed at the end of the season. Pic: Getty

Board standing by Seibold for now

But Morris cut Seibold some slack on Tuesday, pointing to their horror injury toll before stressing they were "not in a rebuild".

Seibold - who is in the second year of a five-season deal - appeared under enormous pressure after a report claimed the Broncos would need to win five of their remaining 10 games in 2020 for him to avoid the axe.

Morris said after the AGM that Seibold wouldn't be going anywhere in 2020 but would face an end of year review like every Broncos employee.

"He has got a long term contract at the Broncos so we will wait until the end of the season, Morris told reporters."

It’s understood Seibold's long-term contract does not have performance clauses, ensuring a huge payout if the former South Sydney mentor was dumped.

There were fears Brisbane would struggle to pick a fully fit 21-strong squad this week after fullback Tesi Niu (wrist) became the 16th Broncos players sidelined this week.

"In terms of recent disappointing team performance, there are a large number of players returning from injury in the coming weeks and the board is looking forward to improved performances," Morris said.

Brisbane are hoping to welcome back centre Kotoni Staggs (hamstring), winger Herbie Farnworth (cork) and hooker Jake Turpin (leg) against the Storm.

However, they will be without Jamayne Isaako after the winger's father lost his battle with cancer on Monday.

Corey Oates (leg) and hooker Issac Luke (suspension) were also ruled out this week.

with AAP