Manly will employ two head coaches for the start of the 2019 season.
Manly will employ two head coaches for the start of the 2019 season.

Who’s the boss? Barrett’s lawyers on high alert

MANLY will need an extra outdoor chair for Trent Barrett's backyard furniture at their Narrabeen headquarters to accommodate two head coaches next season.

In a farcical scenario, the Sea Eagles announced the appointment of Hasler as head coach at a press conference on Monday at the same time veteran agent Wayne Beavis declared it was business as usual and that Barrett would return to work as head coach in a fortnight, as per his contract.

Barrett is contracted until July 2019 as head coach. The agreement stipulates he is also in charge of player recruitment and all the responsibilities of a head coach.

His lawyers are poised to pounce the moment he is demoted to another role.

Manly chairman Scott Penn confirmed at the press conference that Barrett was still employed by the Sea Eagles, despite Hasler's appointment.

Barrett has no choice but to return to work as scheduled in the first week of November.

Otherwise he will be in breach of his contract.

Officially the players and the coach are due back on November 5.

Des Hasler (right) with Scott Penn (C) and Lyall Gorman. Picture: AAP
Des Hasler (right) with Scott Penn (C) and Lyall Gorman. Picture: AAP

The obvious solution is for Barrett's and Manly's lawyers to work on a fair settlement but Penn is notoriously tight when it comes to paying out contracts.

Responding to reports he didn't want Barrett on the coaching staff, Hasler said: "There have been no discussions about Trent."

Then Penn stepped in: "We've been clear for three months, Trent is still employed by the club.

"He has a contract, he re-signed. As a club we need to protect our interests and that's exactly what we're doing. We need a coach for 2019 and we're working through that process.

"We don't want to go into any other detail."

Beavis has confirmed he is meeting with Barrett on Tuesday to plan his return to work.

He has no other job opportunities for next season.

It is understood it would cost the Sea Eagles approximately $400,000 to reach a settlement with Barrett.

Never has an NRL club handled a coach's departure as diabolically as the Sea Eagles.

To allow the players to return to training next month under such awkward circumstances is outrageously stupid and will no doubt have an unsettling effect on the team.

As if 2018 hasn't been tough enough on the players.

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