Outgoing Penrith coach Anthony Griffin has opened up about his sudden sacking from the club despite having two years to run on is contract, and his declining relationship with Panthers boss Phil Gould.
Griffin believes he left behind a successful era at the Panthers and he is proud of his achievements following two successive finals campaigns.
“I’m not here to bulls***t,” he told FOX League’s NRL 360 on Tuesday.
“I’ve been around a long time. I’m telling my side of the story because I think I have done an exceptional job with that club.
“And unless I set the record straight I will get no credit for it.”
“I’m very proud of the achievements of the club over the last three years.”
Griffin said his relationship with Gould became toxic which was a major reason for his departure.
“Our relationship broke down on coaching philosophy,” Griffin said.
“The issue that I didn’t involve staff (in decisions) is totally untrue.
“My philosophy is the build of the club and the promotion of the players. We went through a total reconstruction with local talent. Gus says we weren’t at our best, well a lot of clubs aren’t at their best.”
Griffin also hit back at Gould’s claims that he needed to be moved on because he was too “old school”.
“I take them with a grain of salt, to be honest,” Griffin added.
“My relationship with Gus was very good at the start and he’s got a great football brain.
“The biggest breakdown – and there’s obviously a breakdown – and you can spin it as much as you like … but our relationship broke down on coaching philosophy.
“I’m a strong personality, he’s a strong personality. The suggestion I didn’t involve staff is totally untrue.
“The biggest issue we had and the reason I’m sitting in this chair is because, with me not coaching any more, we had a different philosophy on how the team should be coached.
“He hasn’t coached for 20 years. He hasn’t had his head in the fire for 20 years,” Griffin said.
“If there’s anyone old school in the conversation – if I’m in the conversation about being old school, he’d need to be there as well.”
Griffin also detailed his fiery confrontation with Gould in Belmore earlier in the 2018 season for following his half time address to the playing group in a loss to the Bulldogs.
“So what happened there was my whole focus of that game was getting my forwards to play 40 minutes,” he said.
“I couldn’t have given a f**k about the attack. Gus came in and listened to my speech at half time. I walked past him in the tunnel on the way up to the coach’s box and said ‘how you going?’”
“He says to me: ‘You didn’t even f***ing address the attack.’ I thought he was joking. I thought, he can’t be serious … I said ‘yeah, but it did happen’. That’s Gus. He wants to call me old school but I was never going to be subservient to him.”