Bennett’s Broncos dynasty on death row
WAYNE Bennett is on death row at Brisbane, with the NRL's greatest coach set to be sensationally axed by Broncos bosses for the 2020 season.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Bennett is on an explosive collision course with the Broncos board, with the club's only premiership coach to be denied the chance to finish at Red Hill on his terms.
It is understood the Broncos board has baulked at Bennett's request for a 12-month extension. The 68-year-old is off-contract at the end of next season, and last month fronted a Broncos board meeting where he outlined his vision to coach the club in 2020.
Bennett declined to comment on Tuesday but it can be revealed Brisbane's foundation coach is bracing for the devastating prospect of being moved on when his current deal expires.
Brisbane's board will make a definitive call on Bennett's future after this year's finals.
It appears only a premiership victory can save Bennett, and even then a drought-breaking triumph may not guarantee his survival as the Broncos board ramps-up a succession plan for 2020.
The Broncos recently failed in their poaching bid for Melbourne's Craig Bellamy and are now being linked with Souths coach Anthony Seibold, who is off-contract next year.
Bennett wants to coach the Broncos into his 70s, a sentiment that fuelled his decision to table a comprehensive proposal to the Brisbane board in June detailing his blueprint for more premiership success.
But Bennett is ostensibly a dead-man walking. High-level discussions between Bennett and Broncos chairman Karl Morris in the past fortnight has given the master coach little faith that his proposal will be rubber-stamped with a contract extension.
Sacking Bennett would represent one of the bravest decisions in Broncos history. He has coached the club for a remarkable 25 seasons in two stints and has delivered all six of Brisbane's premierships, including their most recent title in 2006.
Morris and Broncos chief executive Paul White declined to speculate on Bennett's future on Tuesday but skipper Darius Boyd urged the club to give the veteran coach another deal.
"As a player, I'd love to see Wayne stay on," Boyd said.
"I'm not surprised about (the speculation). Life goes on and all good things come to an end at some point, so I guess Wayne is no different to anyone else.
"Wayne has a contract for next year and the boys are happy to have him around.
"Whitey and Wayne will sort out what is best for the club's future after that. If that's Wayne staying, that will be it, and if not, it's not.
"If he has the desire to coach on … I still think he is one of the best in the game and I'd love to see him go on with the Broncos."
Bennett is adamant the Broncos will not deliver the final bullet to his coaching career. He is determined to depart on his terms and will coach at another NRL club if the Broncos board refuses to hand him an extension for 2020.
Former Broncos skipper Gorden Tallis urged Bennett to consider the risks of coaching one season too many.
"Wayne's status in the game can't grow bigger, all that can be done is chipping away at it," Tallis said.
"Like players, you'd rather retire a year early than a year too late and he has given that advice to a lot of his players.
"Knowing the Broncos, they will make the right decision for the club moving forward, Paul White and his board will have to do that.
"Wayne's age will come into it and whether a good young coach is available.
"Any business in the world looks at the future and a plan to move forward.
"If Brisbane keep on winning and make the finals and next year and Wayne is coaching great, then they have a tough decision to make."
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