Bennett won’t do board’s dirty work
WAYNE Bennett has given the strongest indication he may not be at the Broncos next season as club legend Shane Webcke warned Brisbane bosses not to botch a succession plan for the super coach.
On the eve of THE Souths-Brisbane blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium, Webcke revealed he has asked Broncos hierarchy for answers on a Bennett saga that threatens to tear the club apart.
Webcke, Brisbane's greatest front-rower, described the Bennett affair as "un-Bronco-like", admitting the club would be "stupid" to sack the NRL's greatest coach if they don't have a better replacement.
Webcke's sentiments came amid explosive revelations Bennett and skipper Darius Boyd snubbed an annual club BBQ held by Broncos chief executive Paul White at his home last Friday.
The Broncos board has baulked at Bennett's request for a 12-month extension for 2020.
Speculation is now rife Bennett may be sacked in the coming weeks and the Broncos coach has effectively challenged the board to back him or sack him.
Asked if he accepts he may not be at Red Hill next year, the 68-year-old was unequivocal.
"Absolutely," Bennett said.
"I live in the real world. I can only speak for myself.
"I don't have any other control in that (his coaching future at the Broncos). That's the way I feel. Quite realistically I may not be here, that's exactly it.
"It's not my decision. You ask me a lot of questions here that other people should be answering and that disappoints me enormously.
"The last time I left (Brisbane in 2009), I left for similar reasons. But I made the decision to leave so this drama wouldn't happen.
"This time I haven't made the decision to leave, so it's up to the board and the CEO to make their decisions.
"I'm not making it for them this time. I made it easy for them last time. I'm not doing it this time."
The relationship between Bennett and Broncos hierarchy has broken down to the point where a concerned Webcke, one of the coach's strongest allies, has made inquiries about the state of the club.
"I've talked to Karl (Morris) and Paul (White) when I've seen them on those occasions and asked what's going on, because I feel I've earnt the right to do that," Webcke said.
"I don't think there is any skulduggery or anything like that. They are generally concerned with the wellbeing of the club.
"The longer this goes on, it doesn't appear to be a very Bronco-like way of handling this situation.
"That doesn't mean I'm picking a side. I'm loyal to Wayne but I want what they all want - what's best for the club."
Webcke said the Broncos should only axe Bennett if they have a better successor ready to fill his throne.
"If the Broncos want a change they want a change. But change for change's sake is no good," he said.
"If Wayne's not going to be your coach, and clearly that's what they envisage, then who's it going to be?
"You want to make a pretty good decision around that because stupidity is change for change's sake.
"You've got to have something better to go to."