The lingering battle between high-profile players and the head coach of the Gold Coast Titans has come to an end with the sacking of Neil Henry.
Titans CEO Graham Annesley confirmed the sacking at a press conference today.
The news comes as the final straw of a long, disappointing and underwhelming campaign for the Titans, who entered the 2017 NRL season as favourites to make the top eight. They’ve ended the year with a whimper, a feud between Henry and the star signing Jarryd Hayne, and the loss of a major sponsor.
A 54-0 loss to the Brisbane Broncos at home kick-started a desperate effort from the club to salvage memberships and assuage the fan base amidst suggestions that the players, including Hayne and rising star Ash Taylor, were unhappy with the coaching staff.
Henry was contracted to the club for 2018 but he will now be paid off.
The Titans have confirmed that Henry’s sacking is with immediate effect so he will not take charge of the team in the games against Canterbury and the Sydney Roosters.
CEO Graham Annesley said:
“It was a very difficult meeting to have. We obviously have great empathy for Neil and it was probably the toughest thing I’ve had to do at this club.
“No one wants to see people hurt in any way and there were no black and white answer, as opposed to some of the previous issues we’ve had since I’ve been in this role. Everyone feels poorly for Neil and Kath and his family.”
Rumours had emerged that Henry did not want the club to sign former San Francisco 49ers star Hayne but Annesley denied that the coach was sacked due to his public falling out with $1.2 million man.
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