Australian coach Tim Sheens has been offered a $2 million four-year deal to quit Wests Tigers and join his old club the Penrith Panthers.
And the Daily Telegraph has learned Wests Tigers’ management has set a weekend deadline for Sheens to decide his future.
Insiders are suggesting Sheens’ offer from Penrith is worth about $500,000 a year – big money for a club supposedly battling financial problems.
The Wests Tigers board rubber-stamped Sheens’ extension at the club nearly two weeks ago, but that contract was never signed. Wests Tigers’ deal for Sheens is worth $410,000 a season over four years – two more as coach and an additional two as Tigers’ coaching director.
Just last week, English powerhouse Wigan also had a nibble at Sheens.
For weeks now Sheens has been close to committing to the Tigers, but the Panthers offer may gazump them.
Penrith’s board this week told coach Matt Elliott his contract would not be renewed after this season. It seems likely Elliott will head to England, possibly with Salford.
Sheens would be welcomed home with open arms by Panthers fans. He is a Penrith stalwart who coached the Panthers to the club’s first finals series in 1985.He coached Penrith between 1984 and 1987 before linking with Canberra.
He is also an ex-Panthers prop, playing 166 first-grade games between 1970-1982.
Other coaches in the mix at Penrith include current assistant Steve Georgallis, Nathan Brown, Mick Potter and Ricky Stuart.