The Sea Eagles have a legal nightmare on their hands with both Des Hasler and Trent Barrett laying claims to the head coach role.
The Sea Eagles have a legal nightmare on their hands with both Des Hasler and Trent Barrett laying claims to the head coach role.

Legal Eagles: Hasler and Barrett lay claim to Manly job

MANLY'S pre-season begins in less than a fortnight but still remains the astounding situation of two head coaches on their books.

Negotiations with outgoing coach Trent Barrett are continuing but the appointment this week of Des Hasler to the same role for 2019 has turned the situation into a legal nightmare.

Manly chairman and part owner Scott Penn has repeatedly said the club needs to protect its interests given Barrett resigned, forcing him to continue working until the end of his 12-month notice period in July.

However, it would require Barrett to continue as head coach as per his contract, with the club investigating whether they are able to alter his contract to change his job description.

Barrett's camp can argue he is still the head coach until July and Manly had no right to chase a new coach, while Penn is firm on his right to protect the club.

However, if Barrett's contract and job description cannot be changed, the club is likely to be forced to grant Barrett a pay out, which they are desperate to avoid.

"That's not something that we've discussed and we will pay him in accordance with his contract," Penn said.

"I think [the head coach position] was how he was brought into the club, the reality is he has resigned from that position, so the club has to protect its position. This is not personal, this is just as a company we have to protect our position and make sure we have continuity of service for 2019."

A legal fight between Trent Barrett and the club is continuing. (Picture: Adam Yip/Manly Daily)
A legal fight between Trent Barrett and the club is continuing. (Picture: Adam Yip/Manly Daily)

Barrett spoke for the first time on Tuesday night and said he has no idea what is going to happen.

"It is what it is and we'll work through it and we'll see how we go," Barrett said after a meeting with his management.

"I've got no idea what's happening at the minute. That's all I can say, sorry."

However, Manly CEO Lyall Gorman said on Tuesday he expects the situation to be resolved before the players front up for training on November 5.

"That will be resolved over the next couple of weeks, I would have thought," he said.

"Probably by brains a bit smarter than me with lawyers and so on. But hopefully respectfully and with dignity and class, though.

"We've got to have our players come back into a fully primed professional environment on November 5.

"That can't be one that is going to fall down halfway through the season. We need that continuity from day one.

"This notion of people giving notice in the workplace happens every day. It's not a foreign concept."


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