It’s time to cut the cost of sacking dud coaches.
It’s time to cut the cost of sacking dud coaches.

Monday Buzz: Time to cut cost of sacking coaches

NRL clubs have spent more than $12 million sacking 14 coaches in the last five years.

Seven of those are NSW-based clubs fighting for their financial survival post COVID-19.

Just a week into the premiership reboot and we're already talking about sacking another couple - the Dragons' Paul McGregor and Canterbury's Dean Pay, who face-off at Bankwest Monday afternoon.

These are two clubs who have gone eight weeks without poker machine income and gate receipts.

Clubs that will not only have to payout their contracts but employ someone else in their roles.

It would cost the Dragons $1 million to dump McGregor and another $600,000 to replace him for the rest of the season.

So much is hanging on Monday's outcome as the pressure builds on directors at both clubs from irate supporter groups.

The losing coach could be out of work by the end of the week.

Yet something needs to be done to ensure clubs start acting more responsibly with their finances.

The days of blowing budgets and then relying on rich leagues clubs to bail them out are over.

The money is no longer there and the NRL won't be handing out any more loans.

So when should we apply the blowtorch to the people who actually made these appointments?

What about the St George-Illawarra directors who extended McGregor for two years last season?

 

 

What about the Bulldogs board? They also extended Pay's contract last year.

Why are we talking about getting rid of the coaches but not the blundering officials?

Maybe it's time to look at building key performance indicators into coaching contracts.

Most coaches have incentives to make the finals, the top four and to win a premiership.

But none of them are ever penalised for missing out.

Clubs lose sponsors, members and merchandise sales from failed campaigns but the coaches just turn up the next year.

KPIs would be the answer. You do your job well or you go.

The fact the Dragons have won only two of their last 13 games - both against the Gold Coast Titans - on top of finishing 15th last year would put McGregor in a sackable position in the performance category. It would save the million dollar payout.

 

Under coach Paul McGregor the Dragons have won just two of their last 13 games. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Under coach Paul McGregor the Dragons have won just two of their last 13 games. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

The same with Pay at the Bulldogs who has finished 12th in his two seasons at Belmore since taking over from Des Hasler.

It might seem harsh but it happens in all businesses.

You look at some of these sackings in the last five years. It's fair to say the Broncos have gone backwards since Anthony Seibold replaced Wayne Bennett.

Pay has done no better than Hasler at Belmore.

So there's several million dollars wasted for nothing.

It's okay to say the players have to be held accountable as well but the buck stops with the head coach. Winning is everything.

 

Bulldogs Head Coach Dean Pay may be hindering the club’s recruitment drive. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Bulldogs Head Coach Dean Pay may be hindering the club’s recruitment drive. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

 

And the problem for both clubs now is future recruitment.

The Dogs have a $3 million war chest but potential signings want to know who will be in charge next year.

They may not want to play under Pay but Neil Henry or Shane Flanagan might have appeal.

The same at the Dragons. They need big-name forwards to replace James Graham and Tyson Frizell but have no idea who will be holding the clipboard next year.

At least they'll have a better idea after Monday's game.

 

Originally published as What's the Buzz: Time to cut cost of sacking coaches