SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 17: Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett speaks to the media in a post match press conference during the round 23 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Gold Coast Titans at Lottoland on August 17, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Manly coach Trent Barrett has expressed his disappointment over club chairman Scott Penn’s demonstrative comments towards him.

Penn told The Daily Telegraph that the club was unhappy with Barrett’s handling of his resignation and that they were actively looking for his replacement.

“We are deeply unhappy at what has transpired,” Penn told The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday morning.

“There have been decisions made out of our control that aren’t in the spirit of the club.

“I am very disappointed that we are here, that’s the best way to describe it.

“I think that (accepting Barrett back) would be difficult, really difficult. We backed him the entire time. We would be crazy not to look at the market and look at who is available and what we need.

“And we are looking for proven performers, we are not in a position to back a rookie coach. We tried it, it had strong potential but it seemingly hasn’t worked at this stage.”

And the Sea Eagles mentor has not taken kindly to the assault in a press conference later on Wednesday morning.

“I was disappointed with what was written or said in The Telegraph today,” Barrett said.

“In light of today I will make a statement in due course.

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“I’ve had to front up to some heavy press conferences in the past month about it and I’ve tried to have some dignity. It’s tough to stand here today and not say anything today as well.

“Anything I say is going to be pretty controversial today, I will make a public statement in the next few days.

“It’s been difficult and certainly not something that you want to go through, not just us but the players and your family.

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t make any public statement for a long time and I’ve had to sit here with cameras in my face for a long time and I’ve had to deal with that.”

Barrett remained tight-lipped on the club’s coaching plans moving forward despite Penn confirming his resignation.

“We are not in a position to back a rookie coach. We tried it, it had strong potential but it seemingly hasn’t worked,” Penn said, with the club considering a list that includes Tim Sheens, Michael Maguire, John Cartwright and Neil Henry.”

Barrett added that his relationship with the players was transparent.

“The players know exactly where I stand with them.”


  1. This club is a disgrace.
    Move them to Perth already.
    They might get some supporters there.
    They can be the Perth peanuts. Lol

    • They really need to toughen up, I thought playing at Blacktown would be the recipe but they are to scared to train when the lights come on. The bottom line here is Barrett is far to polite and soft to succeed in the NRL. He needs to scream his lungs out at them every now and then and give the players a decent rev up like Maguire or Ricky Stuart or Des Hasler or Geoff Toovey or Frank Stanton. Why has the Penn brothers not gone back to their Manly roots and get an ex Manly coach in the box seat. This club has had all its premierships won by coaches who played for the club, Ron Willey 71-72, Frank Stanton 76, 78. Bob Fulton 87, 96 and Des Hasler 08, 11 all played for Manly before they became a coach, not blow ins like Trent “softy”Barrett.

  2. This is getting stupid real quickly…
    someone needs to come out and say what’s happening…
    No wonder no fans want to turn up at the moment…
    Also speaking to people there is only one person that should be coach and that is clearly tooves

  3. Door wide open here to return serve at the Manly supporters who jumped all over a newspaper article about the Eels yesterday (even though those Manly fans always deny the articles written about their team?????). Anyway….

    For the record I agree with bobfulton, there needs to be some transparency here on what is happening for the fans sake. At this stage it is Barrett looking to be the better of the 2 sides IMO. He has ample opportunity to rip into management over the past couple of weeks but hasn’t and has instead maintained his dignity. Then the club comes out and sticks it to him, claiming to always back him, and that he hasn’t worked out as a rookie coach. I am not a fan of Barrett, but based on what we have seen I fell for him in this.

    Surely Toovey is on the list of potential coaches for Manly? Cartwright and Henry have actually achieved very little in their coaching careers, Tim Sheens is probably past it and better suited to a coaching director role now, which only leaves Madge from the list above. The question is though, would Toovey want to return?

      • Eels, I can’t say I disagree, because we only get to see the tip of the iceberg, but I’m certainly not so sure.

        Barrett has the contract (nothing to lose financially if he doesn’t want to), the ear of the playing group, probably the first mover advantage (legally), the (potential) ability to seriously tarnish a business/brand, and, almost in summary, the ability to get paid whilst working against his employer.

        I’m not saying that’s the case, and he obviously knows the NRL (business) community is pretty small, but he also knows (probably through legal advice) it’s a game he can win, and in all honesty he doesn’t have that much to lose (as the NRL coomunity is pretty small, re his actual abilities).

        In all honesty I’ve never liked Barrett, and not just because he’s Manly, because I do like Tooves for example, but I don’t (and never have) rated Barrett. As a Parra supporter, I’d say attack the Penn’s/take Barrett’s side.

  4. Tooves and Des burnt their bridges with the Penns.
    Trent thought he had a start with us next year and resigned/jumped the gun now he does not have a FG coaching gig to go to and is looking really stupid.
    He is a traitor in Mr Penns eyes after all they did to support the rookie coach.
    Looks like either Cartwright or Henry will get the job.. maybe Hook if they are lucky.

  5. If Cartwright or Henry get he job that is ludicrous….
    Maguire be fine but really Toovey needs to be spoken with and see what they can come up with in regards to getting him back…
    I feel if it’s not tooves or des crowds just won’t come back,
    If tooves is coach instantly that problem is gone

    • Completely agree with first 2 points. They should not have turfed Tooves in the first place, but other than him Madge is the better option I think.

      I think Des will struggle getting another gig to be honest with the mess he left both Manly and Bulldogs in. He seems to be all about short term success with no vision.

      • From what you hear about Madge, he wouldn’t be interested in the job. You may recall he reportedly knocked back the titans due to lack of support, infrastructure and board instability (at the time) so with the rumoured 1980’s style facilities, all the back room drama and lack of support he wouldn’t entertain the gig.
        Carty is already there and just signed a two year extension apparently and he would come relatively cheaply.
        No-one in their right mind would let Des back in the joint – he is the reason they are in this mess. As for Toovey, yes he is Manly to the core but surely after the way he was exited, he would have second thoughts.

        • Billy, I think Tooves is keen, or at the very least open to it. Watch the first few minutes of the NRL “team lists” podcast (yesterday’s) and Tooves left the door wide open, but they (Penn) would have to feast on humble pie.

          With all the dramas at Manly, I’m hoping we’re at least had a chat to Api and/or his manager.

        • Tooves must like torture 🙂
          Api and AFB would be ones to look at for sure.
          Everything you hear also points to Kapow being very close to signing on the line….

  6. screw working out who the coach will be – Manly board should be trying to work out how to get rid of the Penn Family.

    Yes they have poured money into the joint but they have also brought a lot of problems. They forced Tooves hand with the DCE offer. They booted Tooves. They played hard ball with Des for 50k. They allowed the cap rorting. What chairman allows the club to run in this fashion and so publicly with 2 games to go in the regular season.

    Penn’s need to exit – the club need better and strong funding options and a mixed board that can be objective.

    • but who would buy them?
      how do you become a millionaire? be a multi millionaire and buy a football, particularly one on the northern beaches.
      a couple of multi millionaires have already tried their hand at it and are now bankrupt….

      • Many people/organisations would love to buy into the club – i’m not the most commercially minded person but i would think a group of companies would be best to own a club. It allows the companies to advertise and market their respective organisations.

        For example: you gather a companies: Shaw and Partners, URM, Lottoland, TFH, WestFund, Brookvale Mazda….A member of each of these companies should sit on the board and each company should have an equal share in owning the club. Once they buy in, they need to ride the wave and fund the club. If they can form pathways to generate revenue for the club, then they will also make money, fund the club and its activities and have a balanced board.

        Right now, we have the Penn’s just calling the shots like whinging kids chucking a tantrum. Surely if they didn’t like what Barrett has mentioned, they would keep their mouth shut in best interest of the club, season, players and legally. Instead, Scott Penn felt the need to verbally bash Barrett in a public forum. Great way to support the club, more-so when you have a potential legal battle looming. Scott Penn is not a chairman, more a chair warmer.

  7. Ask Nick the Prick Politis, he’s got enough hidden in brown paper bags to buy 3 clubs. Penn’s a fwit and Barrett would be forgiven for just walking out the door today, but he wouldn’t do that to the players who respect him.

    I couldn’t think of many worse places to coach at the moment. Manly have been screwed over royally for best part of the last decade and NRL should be able to sack the lot of the board and install care-takers and then have fresh elections for a new board. Too much politics goes on in this game, it’s a joke. I actually feel sorry for the Manly players, fans and coaches over last few years.

  8. Penn is a basket case. Bring in the iron sheik from dubai with all the cash and oil to properly fund the club.

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