TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 09: Broncos coach Anthony Griffin speaks in the post match media conference during the round nine NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos at 1300SMILES Stadium on May 9, 2014 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Penrith Panthers boss Phil Gould has hit back at outgoing coach Anthony Griffin for public comments he has made since being sacked by the club on Monday.

Griffin told all in an interview on Fox League on Wednesday night, including his deteriorating relationship with Gould while firing some shots.

And Gould has returned serve.

“He has embarrassed himself,” Gould told Chanel 9 on Thusday night.

“He’s embarrassed himself in front of the people who know the truth.

“My thoughts were that he shouldn’t have done it, that he was badly advised to go and do it and particularly in the environment in which he did it.

“I don’t think he’s done himself any favours with that interview given the reaction I’ve had from our staff, former staff, staff that left our club because of Anthony and people who have worked in and around our club before Anthony arrived and since he arrived.

“I’m not going to sit here and judge Anthony Griffin for the world to see. I’m not going to reply or respond because he said negative things about me or the club.”

Gould added that he did not believe the team was capable of winning this season’s premiership as the ultimate validation for Griffin’s culling.

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“They wouldn’t have won a premiership the way he was coaching,” Gould said.

“A lot of my disagreements with Anthony was because I had to try and convince him we were trying to help him, not trying to hurt him.

“And he felt he was being undermined, which was the opposite of what we were trying to do. We were trying to help him.

“He had deficiencies, to be brutally honest, and as a club we were trying to work through them and as a club we were trying to work through them.

“I run the club, and I made some big decisions about Anthony Griffin. I employed him in the first place.

“I extended his contract. We protected him in the media, we stood up for him in the media, we’ve tried to help him in a football sense right across the board, to help his style of coaching and to help him through and I had full intentions of him seeing our his contract.”

Gould also revealed that assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo attempted to quit the club on two occasions because he did not want to work with Griffin.




  1. I would suggest that it is Gould that is embarrassing himself.

    The more he says the stupider he looks.

    That is my view in the court of public opinion

    • 100% Agree. Gus should not have gone on ch9 to have another free crack at Griffin when he already gave the first serve. Childish behaviour! Griffin is entitled to defend himself and his reputation.

  2. “I’m not going to sit here and judge Anthony Griffin for the world to see. I’m not going to reply or respond because he said negative things about me or the club.”… Seriously, then what was the point of the stup!d interview in the first place.

    Gould sacked Hook and gave a few reasons as to why, so Hook came out and defended himself against that. Perhaps he believed that the comments Gould made about him would hurt his future employment opportunities, so e wanted to put his side out there. As far as I am concerned he is entitled to that, and e did it pretty well, perhaps some of his digs at Gould weren’t necessary, but we could all see where he was coming from.

    Gould, on the other hand, in the position that he is in running a multi million dollar organisation, should have just copped it on the chin and let it go. Instead he concocts this farce of an interview, where he was asked the questions by his mates, that has no other intention than to dig the boot in further. This is very poor leadership from a man who, given his position, should know better. He claims Hook was poorly advised by having his say, but in reality he should be seeking advice from people who know better than him. I wonder how his bosses really feel about what he said last night?

  3. Gus certainly made out he was the good guy in all this and has quickly tried to rubbish Griffin for defending himself. Guys like Gould honestly believe the stuff they say, they are removed from reality and can’t even tell the difference between what they do and what would be normal behaviour. They always take the higher moral ground.

    None of us will ever know what went on behind closed doors but Gus certainly covered his ass well last night, and put it back on the CEO.

  4. Hahaha this is a wonderful debacle! As if you would fire the coach like this 4 weeks before the finals onya penRiff

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