NEWS Wayne Bennett hits Brisbane Broncos with $400k claim

Discussion in 'Brisbane Broncos Talk' started by Gaz, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. Gaz

    Gaz QCup Player

    Wayne Bennett hits Brisbane Broncos with $400k claim

    DECEMBER 17, 2018

    WAYNE Bennett has reignited his bitter feud with the Brisbane Broncos by sending a legal letter demanding the club pay him $400,000 after his sacking this month.
    The claim comes after Bennett was paid $385,000 this month for his image rights in response to his contract termination for the 2019 season.
    Despite being sacked on December 2, Bennett walked straight into a three-year, $800,000-a-year contract with the Rabbitohs.
    The legal letter,in which Bennett says he reserves the right to enforce court proceedings, comes after the six-time Broncos premiership coach late last month insisted the toxic coaching negotiations were “not about money”.
    “I don’t want any payout. It’s about the promise I made to my players (to coach them at
    Brisbane in 2019, the last year of his contract), Bennett said in late November.
    Broncos CEO Paul White yesterday confirmed the letter was sent by Bennett's legal team on
    December 14.
    Wayne Bennett has a laugh with Rabbitohs plater Sam Burgess at Redfern Oval for his first session as Souths coach. Picture. Phil Hillyard
    The Broncos, whose majority owner is News Corp Australia, publisher of The Courier-Mail, were given a deadline of yesterday to respond to the letter, but Mr White said his club’s lawyers had asked for a month to formulate a reply.
    He refused to comment on the content of the letter.
    In an unusual twist, even by the standards of Bennett’s battle of wits with Broncos management, Bennett will effectively be suing his new employer, South Sydney, which has undertaken to pay 50 per cent of any award the Broncos are forced to pay towards his 2019 salary.
    In the immediate fallout to his sad and bitter exit from the Broncos, Bennett told The Courier-Mail he had no intention of suing Brisbane.
    It was reported then that he was reluctant to go through the mental anguish of a protracted legal battle.
    But in a scathing termination of his Broncos job, Bennett is understood to have been dumped by Brisbane over claims he breached his contract by bringing the club into disrepute, leaking to the media and dealing with South Sydney regarding player rostering and pre-season planning.
    Wayne Bennett at Red Hill not long before departing the Broncos. Picture: Tara Croser
    Bennett strongly denies the Broncos’ claims and says they are incorrect.
    Bennett’s repeated claims that he was unaware of a possible coaching swap with the Rabbitohs for the 2019 NRL season have also been called into question.
    A letter dated October 25 was sent from Souths to Bennett. The letter stated that if Bennett and the Rabbitohs were in a position for him to start work in 2019, his contract would be amended to cover the 2019-21 seasons.
    Bennett held on to the Souths contract, containing the 2019 clause, for 31 days before signing it on November 25, seven days before he was sacked by the Broncos. The Courier-Mail understands that, during the talks between Souths and Brisbane before the termination of Bennett’s Broncos contract on December 2, Souths agreed to contribute 50 per cent of any award the Broncos were ordered to pay towards Bennett’s former 2019 contract.
    The Courier-Mail does not suggest Bennett knew of this undertaking by Souths.
    “I’m really pleased it’s all resolved and that I can join this great club with a free mind, knowing I did the right thing by the fans, staff and players,” Bennett said in a Souths statement on December 2.
    “I’m really looking forward to being at South Sydney and working with the players, staff, board and all of the members.”
    Wayne Bennett has backflipped on earlier claims he was not interested in a payout.
    At his first session with the Rabbitohs on December 4, Bennett said he was “happy to be sacked” by the Broncos.
    “I’m pleased I came on my terms in the sense I didn’t have to ask to leave the Broncos … I was sacked. I have a clear conscience,” he said.
    His signing was announced publicly by South Sydney on December 2. It was just hours after White and Broncos chairman Karl Morris released news of the sacking of Bennett and the arrival of Anthony Seibold to lead the 2019 Broncos campaign, rather than starting in the 2020 season.
    Bennett was in contact with Broncos recruiting staff. Despite a report to the contrary, Bennett was consulted on the move to release Josh McGuire to the North Queensland Cowboys, announced publicly on November 19.
    Broncos players said consistently that they hoped Bennett would coach in 2019. Several staff said they were working on the basis Bennett would coach at the club until the day he was terminated.
    The Seibold-coached Broncos and the Bennett-led Rabbitohs are drawn to play two matches in 2019.
    Countdown to a crisis

    April 19, 2018: Wayne Bennett storms out of weekly pre-game press conference when asked about his future at the club.
    May 23: It’s revealed the Broncos made a secret approach to Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
    June 9: The Broncos identify Souths coach Anthony Seibold as a possible option if Bellamy stays loyal to Melbourne.
    June 16: Bellamy signs a new three-year deal with Melbourne.
    July 12: Bennett receives a letter from Broncos chairman Karl Morris offering him a “senior administrative role” for 2020, an offer that was not publicly revealed until mid-August.
    July 26: Bennett tells media he has spoken to Morris and no decision would be made on his future until after the season.
    August 9: The Courier-Mail reveals Bennett and CEO Paul White are no longer on speaking terms.
    August 14: Tensions grow when The Courier-Mail reveals Bennett and Darius Boyd skipped a team barbecue at White’s home and Bennett instead hosts players at his house.
    August 16: White refuses to guarantee Bennett’s future, saying he is Brisbane’s coach for 2019 only. Seibold explodes at a post-match press conference after South Sydney’s loss to the Broncos, saying he is sick of speculation over his future.
    August 17: Bennett rejects Brisbane’s job offer for 2020, saying: “I don’t want a front-office position.” Makes it clear he is prepared to coach at another club in 2020.
    September 25: Broncos formally announce 2019 season will be Bennett’s last with the club.
    October 7: Anthony Milford confirms Bennett told the playing group he will stay in 2019.
    October 8: White, Morris and board member Darren Lockyer travel to Sydney for a three-hour interview with Seibold. There are three other candidates in Michael Maguire, Kevin Walters and Jason Demetriou.
    Wayne Bennett has begun pre-season training at Souths. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP
    October 25: Seibold advises Souths his preferred option is coaching the Broncos, passing up a rich extension. The Rabbitohs then announce they have signed Bennett on a two-year deal for seasons 2020 and 2021.
    October 26: Bennett declares he has no interest in a straight swap with Seibold for 2019.
    October 31: The Broncos finally confirm the signing of Seibold on a four-year deal from 2020. In a press release, the club states Bennett will be the coach in 2019.
    November 2: Bennett blasts suggestions he is trying to recruit players for South Sydney in 2020 after reports he had spoken to Trent Merrin about a possible move.
    November 5: Seibold insists he is committed to South Sydney for 2019 after it is reported the Rabbitohs were trying to negotiate an immediate coaching swap with the Broncos. Denies he has lost Souths players.
    November 15: Speculation continues that the Broncos and Rabbitohs are holding secret talks to negotiate an immediate swap of both coaches.
    November 16: Seibold makes his first staff appointment for Brisbane, with former NSW forward Ben Cross to join him at Red Hill in 2020 as an assistant coach.
    November 21: Bennett returns home after his successful tour in the UK. Declares he will be at Broncos training the following day.
    November 22: On his first day back at Red Hill, Bennett watches the training session through a window and dodged the large media pack, leaving Broncos HQ by using decoy cars and lying in the back seat of another vehicle.
    November 24: Bennett and Morris have a three-minute meeting in which they both agree the super coach will remain at Red Hill in 2019. Bennett then hides inside a cafe toilet to avoid the waiting media pack.
    November 30: Bennett calls his own press conference to again declare he is staying at Brisbane in 2019, but speculation remains that the club’s powerbrokers may be preparing to sack him.
    December 2: The Broncos announce that Bennett’s coaching contract has been terminated.
    December 14: Bennett sends a legal letter to the Broncos demanding $400,000.

    Source: Courier-Mail.
  2. big k

    big k QCup Player

    He's not out of pocket. 800k from Souths contract, 385k from Broncos. Was he on more than 1.2mil? Doubt it.

    But but it's not about money... sure looks like a money grab to me.

    Funny thing is if we just go **** it and pay, Souths are up for 200k of that bill.

    Would b e even funnier if Brisbane went fu cck off took it to court and Bennett had to pay the Broncos legal costs.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  3. Jedhead

    Jedhead QCup Player

    He's a Soufs muppet now, piss him off!
  4. Lockysillegitimatechild

    Lockysillegitimatechild NRL Player

    If i was a souths fan i would be pissed off hearing this. Brisbane is a massive business with the ability to take bennett to court and hold off for years on payment just to make life difficult. His head will be in more then one place next year BIG TIME.
  5. kluppy

    kluppy NYC Player

    his big head or his little head?
  6. Eta Carinae

    Eta Carinae NYC Player

    I was among his harshest critics and copped a lot of vitriol for it. Now I feel vindicated.
  7. Even if it is about the money, good on him. If he is owed a dollar, I hope he gets it.

    Employees have rights, and if he has legal ground, I hope he does get every dollar owed. That's only fair.
    abashii, Horseheadsup, badyon and 5 others like this.
  8. Eta Carinae

    Eta Carinae NYC Player

    Doubt it. He will simply leave it in the hands of lawyers.
  9. Eta Carinae

    Eta Carinae NYC Player

    Absolutely! Is 300k while he is getting paid 800k at another club not enough? He needs another 400k on top of that?
  10. Who gives a shit what the actual figures are?

    If he is owed a dollar, I hope he gets it. I don't care if he's a billionaire already, if his employer promised him a salary, and sacked him unfairly (the courts will decide), then I hope he gets every single cent owed.
    abashii, Dexter, john1420 and 3 others like this.
  11. Let's not forget his former employer who sacked him, are News LTD, the same guys who are now writing articles about his claims.

    There's a serious conflict of interest and no way would I take anything a News LTD journo says about the Bennett situation seriously.
    abashii, Dexter, badyon and 4 others like this.
  12. Eta Carinae

    Eta Carinae NYC Player

    Lets agree to disagree. He already left on bad terms. Should have collected his 300k and been happy with that. If he was only on 30k a year I would agree with you 100%.
  13. Eta Carinae

    Eta Carinae NYC Player

    That's true. Corporate media isn't to be trusted about anything but in the absence of any kind of denial from Bennett, hard not to believe it.
    Kimlo likes this.
  14. Agree to disagree we will. The club is not a charitable venture, they're a for profit commercial entity and when they sign employees, I expect them to honour their legal commitments. Even if he was on a 6 million a year salary, and they short changed him 10k, I'd encourage him to go after it. Business is business.
    abashii, Dexter, badyon and 1 other person like this.
  15. When he got sacked the club said the terms of the termination are "confidential", so if Bennett takes that to court it'll all have to be public. I'm sure Bennett would have a top class legal team and if he's challenging News LTD in court, he'd have to have a pretty strong case because their legal funds are practically unlimited. More than likely, they'd just settle out of court anyway. If he can nab a few hundred K from News LTD, power to him.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  16. Remind me to never, ever work for you. It doesn't matter if he's paid $1million a minute. If the law states he is entitled for another $5.00. He should be handed it.

    Imagine a world where you ask for your holiday pay, and being told "Nah, you have been paid a really good wage all year, you don't need your legal entitlements, don't be greedy"
    abashii, john1420, badyon and 5 others like this.
  17. Foordy


    so do employers ... and one of those rights, is that your employees are not permitted to work with your competition, while under contract to you.

    if he, as as been widely reported (and not just by news ltd) that he talked to Souths players about 2019 ... then he breached his contract and is not entitled to one cent.
  18. Morepudding

    Morepudding QCup Player

    Now can we all openly hate this lying piece of shit? Complete **** knob. It's always been about the money and I hope that he has burnt every possible bridge and is never allowed back anywhere near the Broncos.
  19. You're not a contract law expert, so you can't say that with any confidence. We simply don't know what constitutes a breach of a contract in an elite sporting contract where they have a million stipulations. It's not a standard award agreement.

    Contracts also do not override his legal rights. If Bennett has received legal advice that he has a strong case, I'd tend to believe it. You don't take on a case against a massive mega-corp unless you have a better than even chance of being in the right.

    Him "talking" to players means absolutely nothing, if they want to invalidate his contract and avoid a pay out, they'd need something a bit better than hearsay. Talking to players does not prove he was working against his employer's interest. He is an International coach.

    Otherwise the club should have sacked Bennett two years ago when Ash Taylor said he speaks to him on the phone regularly! Oh shit. He's helping the competition! Breach of contract.
    abashii likes this.
    You can do what you like, but no, I'm not going to hate on Bennett because News LTD reckons I should.
    abashii, Dexter and Nashy like this.

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