End in sight for Barrett in Sea Eagles purgatory
THE bitter dispute between Manly and former coach Trent Barrett should be resolved within a fortnight, Sea Eagles chief executive Lyall Gorman says.
Barrett's future was thrown into even more confusion on Monday when Des Hasler was trumpeted as Manly's new coach, without any release having yet been finalised with Barrett.
Negotiations remain ongoing between the Sea Eagles and their former coach - he officially remains an employee of Manly through until next July, having handing in his 12 months' notice midway through the season.
But Gorman said there was no chance players would return to pre-season training on November 5 with both Hasler and Barrett in the head-coaching role.
"That will be resolved over the next couple of weeks, I would have thought," Gorman told the Big Sports Breakfast on Tuesday.
"Probably by brains a bit smarter than me with lawyers and so on. But hopefully respectfully and with dignity and class, though."
Manly management and Barrett have been at loggerheads since the young coach lost patience with the club midway through the season.
Already enduring a season from hell both on and off the field, Barrett cited a lack of football department resources in his claims that Manly had not fulfilled its contract renewal in the previous summer.
The situation became clearly untenable in August when Manly chairman and majority owner Scott Penn claimed Barrett had acted against the spirit of the club and admitted a rookie coach "hasn't worked".
The situation further deteriorated a week later when Barrett went public on the matter, doubling down on complaints about the facilities at the club's Narrabeen base.
Both sides are desperate to avoid giving ground in the battle, with the issue having for months been considered a legal matter over contracts.
Manly defended its decision to employ Hasler without a decision being reached on Barrett, reasoning things had to be in place for the 2019 season when players returned to training next month.
"I think they are two different things," Gorman said.
"We've got to have our players come back into a fully primed professional environment on November 5.
"That can't be one that is going to fall down halfway through the season. We need that continuity from day one.
"This notion of people giving notice in the workplace happens every day. It's not a foreign concept."