Time’s up: Seibold to walk away from Broncos
Anthony Seibold has almost certainly coached his last game for the Brisbane Broncos. The embattled coach is expected to agree to a $1 million termination deal within the next 48 hours, ending a tumultuous two years at the club.
It is now a matter of his agent Isaac Moses finalising the agreement with the club and his lawyers, and comes as former Brisbane greats call for the return of club legend Kevin Walters to take over.
Seibold would leave straight away and not return to training as scheduled on Wednesday after being in isolation for two weeks.
News Corp understands he made the decision to walk away over the weekend, pending the payout settlement after serving just two years of a five-year contract.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. Every game of every round Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
The 45-year-old and the Broncos are in negotiations over his future, which have been fast-tracked following a major family drama and the toll of a brutal cyber attack on the beleaguered coach.
Seibold, who has been under immense personal strain, has been given the option of leaving now, less than two years into his five-year stint, and would receive a million-dollar-plus payout for the last three years of his deal.
Broncos chairman Karl Morris had high-level talks with Seibold on Friday when the pair discussed a range of options, including the embattled coach walking away before the end of the season.
It is understood Seibold may have coached his last game for the Broncos, with the 45-year-old no certainty to be in charge for Friday night's clash against the Roosters.
Seibold, eligible to return to the club on Monday after a two-week isolation period which came after he left the Broncos COVID bubble for family reasons, has not been sacked and is not bound to accept the offer.
COMMENT: Seibold must quit while he's behind
If he returns to Red Hill this week he could coach the side for their remaining five games and negotiations would recommence at the end of the season, with the only apparent certainty being he will not be at the club next year.
If Seibold accepts the Broncos' offer and resigns in the next few days, the club may well keep caretaker coach Peter Gentle in charge for the rest of the season given there is nothing but the dreaded wooden spoon at stake.
The club is aware of the acute emotional stress Seibold has been under in recent weeks, with a serious family issue and a vicious cyber attack compounding the pressure of the Broncos' worst season in which they have won just three of 15 games.
Initially the plan was to revisit Seibold's future at the end of the season but Seibold's off-field dramas have prompted a rethink and the offer is considered a potentially softer landing for the coach and the club.
If Seibold departs, the Broncos will be in no rush to hire a new coach, with Walters and Paul Green the standout candidates.
Former Broncos enforcer Glenn Lazarus believes Origin coach Walters, who missed out on the job when Seibold was appointed, deserves his chance.
"Kevvie is the man, he is the perfect guy to come in and address some of the issues at the club," Lazarus said.
"I don't believe the players are happy there, that's obvious in the way they are playing.
"Kevvie would bring a real injection of enthusiasm. The Broncos need someone who understands the DNA of the club and Kevvie knows the club inside out. He would turn the place around.
"It won't be a quick fix no matter who goes in, but Kevvie is a Broncos legend and would have the support of every Broncos fan.
"He took a hard stance as Queensland coach for standing down all those young bloke a few years ago so Kevvie has shown he can make the tough calls.
"He loves the club and would be hurting more than most."
Walters' twin brother Kerrod believes Kevin could handle the role he has coveted for his entire coaching career.
"I think Kevvie can do it," Kerrod said.
"In the words of Ivan Cleary, if there was a bus it would be full.
"It will be a tough gig but Kevvie loves the club. He is passionate and had success as a player. He knows what it takes.
"He's worked with some of the best coaches in the game and his Origin experience has been good.
"He took over a team at the end of an era, won his first two series and the last two have been very competitive coming down to the last minute.
"It's time for him to get his opportunity."
Originally published as Time's up: Seibold to walk away from Broncos