SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Daly Cherry-Evans of the Sea Eagles looks on during the round 22 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Lottoland on August 11, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Manly chairman Scott Penn has stated there will not be an exodus of the players following coach Trent Barrett's impending exit.

Several Sea Eagles have sided with Barrett amid his public feud with the club, including skipper Daly Cherry-Evans. It has raised discussion that a host of players may follow Barrett out the door.

Asked on Fox’s League Life program on Sunday if he was worried about players wanting out should Barrett leave, Cherry-Evans replied: “Yeah, definitely. It’s a little concern.

“When turmoil hits, yeah sure, people want to come in and swoop and pick up a couple of the nice pieces that stick out ...

“I certainly wouldn’t begrudge anyone else for looking at other opportunities. That’s always what I’ve been able to do, look after myself and put myself in the best position to play good footy. I’d never begrudge a teammate for going and doing something like that.”

But Penn has played down the speculation, saying the players are expected to be aligned with their coach.

“The fact is the players obviously play for the coach and that’s what we want them to do,” Penn told Fairfax Media.

“We’d like to think they will play for the coach and respect the coach, whoever it is. Certainly, Trent is the coach and Daly is going to back him up. We understand that.

“We do have a bright future and the players know that.”

Penn added that a communication breakdown led to the conflict between the football department and the administration.

“There was a critical juncture where there was a lot of misinformation out there effectively where the football department was being pitted against the administration,” Penn said.

“That’s not an acceptable position because that’s not the case. We had to bring that to a head.

“The only reason we’d spoken out was because it was becoming untenable internally when there isn’t an issue. We needed to make sure we addressed that with information.

“There is no split. Obviously Trent wasn’t saying that and we weren’t saying that either, but other parties were suggesting it and it’s not the case.

“We had to come out and defend that.”



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