Broncos Founder Barry Maranta isn’t happy with the state of the club. Photo: Glenn Barnes
Broncos Founder Barry Maranta isn’t happy with the state of the club. Photo: Glenn Barnes

Maranta: Broncos hierarchy must answer for ‘rubbish’

Broncos founding father Barry Maranta has turned up the heat on CEO Paul White and chairman Karl Morris by questioning Brisbane's leadership and expressing dismay at handing coach Anthony Seibold a five-year deal.

Maranta found allies in several former Broncos, with club greats Greg Dowling and Steve Renouf lashing Brisbane's board for the "ridiculous" decision to hand Seibold the longest contract for a rookie coach in NRL history.

White confirmed a full review of the club would be held and Maranta, the man who helped give birth to the Broncos in 1988, said the front office should not be immune to any potential overhaul at Red Hill.

Stream every match of the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial and start streaming instantly >

Maranta took aim at Broncos players for failing the club's fans by serving up "rubbish" in a 58-0 finals loss to the Eels that rings alarm bells for Brisbane's five-year, $3 million investment in Seibold.

"The front office of a major franchise has a responsibility to provide a base for the coaching staff and from what I can see, the challenge is not being met at the Broncos," Maranta said.

"I can't imagine giving a coach a five-year deal. It's the sort of business decision that would not have happened under our watch.

"Most businesses today would not sign a coach or CEO for five years. You have to have certain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to earn a contract of that length.

"That (58-0 drubbing by the Eels) was the worst thing I have seen from the Broncos.

"Where does the club go now? I hope the administration are having a serious look at it.

"The Broncos are a $40 to $50 million business and they have to start playing accordingly with the same research and development of any other business operating of that size.

 

White is under scrutiny after the embarrassing defeat. Photo: Annette Dew
White is under scrutiny after the embarrassing defeat. Photo: Annette Dew

"Once a football franchise starts to go down, it requires 10 times the energy to get it back up again. Think of South Sydney, who required street marches and Russell Crowe's millions to rescue the club.

"That's why the original founders (Steve Williams, Gary Balkin, Paul Morgan and Maranta) were so fastidious about not letting the Broncos go into decline.

"Once a business starts to go down, you have massive problems and stress. Why we worked so aggressively to get everything right was to avoid the Broncos struggling. I studied sporting franchises for 10 years before the Broncos were born.

"I'm in a state of shock. I don't feel sorry for the players, they get paid good money and they have to perform. But for the fans to fly down to Sydney and watch that rubbish, they were let down badly."

 

Does the club have option but to stick with Seibold? Photo: Matt King/Getty Images
Does the club have option but to stick with Seibold? Photo: Matt King/Getty Images


Dowling said heads should roll for the Broncos board, chaired by Morris, rubber-stamping Seibold's signing until the end of 2023.

"Someone has to be in the firing line over this. I can't believe Broncos management gave Seibold a five-year deal, how ridiculous," he said.

"Prudent management would have given Seibold a two-year deal with a possible option but to get five years is madness.

"What happens if the Broncos falter next year and they have to sever ties with the coach. The Broncos will be under fire because they would face paying out Seibold $2 million-plus to move him on. It's an expensive exercise.

"The Broncos had some real beltings on the road in Sydney and that tells me their group has a mental problem. They need to harden up.

"Seibold will be in the firing line if he doesn't get results next year. That finish was an absolute disaster."

Renouf added: "I don't believe any coach should ever get a five-year deal. I don't agree with it, but the board has given it to him and now they have to make it work."