Wayne Bennett’s future is uncertain.
Wayne Bennett’s future is uncertain.

Bennett breaks silence on Bellamy bomb

WAYNE Bennett has broken his silence following a bombshell report the Broncos are planning to part ways with him and bring Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy to Brisbane.

On Monday it was revealed Brisbane had tabled a four-year deal to Bellamy - worth a reported $1.4 million a year- to take over from Bennett at the Broncos.

Brisbane CEO Paul White on Tuesday admitted he had been in discussions with Bellamy, but denied any such offer had been made.

Bennett said he organised a conversation with White a month ago to discuss his and the club's future where he gave the OK for the Broncos to talk with Bellamy if that's the direction they wanted to take.

He said he didn't want something happening without "having some control over it and being a part of it".

Reports surfaced on Tuesday suggesting the Broncos held secret meetings with Bellamy - seeing him twice in the past month - and kept Bennett in the dark about them, which infuriated the rugby league icon.

Bennett said while he knew Brisbane was intending to talk to Bellamy, he didn't know they had already met, but didn't blame White.

"I was aware they were going to go and talk to him but I wasn't aware they had talked to him," he said. "I'd like to have known.

"Paul (White) did nothing unethical from my point of view."

Wayne Bennett’s relationship with Paul White has come under scrutiny.
Wayne Bennett’s relationship with Paul White has come under scrutiny.

Bennett is contracted with Brisbane until the end of 2019 and while there's been much discussion already about whether he would be moved on a year early, he was unequivocal in saying he will still be Brisbane's coach in 2019.

"I'm staying here in 2019," he said, before revealing while he didn't want to coach at another club, he would consider it if he had no other option.

"At this point in my life, I still have a lot to offer.

"I've already had a couple of offers (to coach at another club)."

When asked if there was any chance Bellamy and Bennett would coach together, the 68-year-old said: "That's not going to happen, that's just not going to happen."

Meanwhile, White said he would never be disrespectful to Bennett and admitted while he has spoken with Bellamy, he refuted suggestions the club has negotiated with him.

 

It seems the ball is in Bellamy’s court. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
It seems the ball is in Bellamy’s court. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

White said the club didn't want to interfere with Bellamy's negotiations with Melbourne given the Storm are waiting on his response to a deal worth a reported $3.75 million over three years.

"I would never be disrespectful to Wayne," White said.

"Wayne encouraged me to meet with him (Bellamy). At the moment there's no negotiations happening with Craig Bellamy.

"Craig's currently considering an offer from Melbourne and we won't be impinging on that process.

"Craig has an offer from Melbourne. He wants to fully consider that. Wayne is aware of that."

Bellamy was Bennett’s assistant once upon a time.
Bellamy was Bennett’s assistant once upon a time.

While White denied any offer had been made to Bellamy, when asked if that would change he said: "Should he knock back Melbourne's approach. We would need to understand from Craig that he wasn't prepared to sign with Melbourne."

Bennett is contracted to Brisbane until the end of 2019 and White said the veteran would still be at Red Hill next year.

"We have a coach for 2019 so we're not sitting here asking who's going to be coach in 2019. That's Wayne Bennett, let me be clear about that," White said.