Brisbane Broncos Managing Director, Bruno Cullen, today confirmed the tenure of Wayne Bennett as head coach of the Broncos until the end of the 2009 season.
With rumours and speculation over Bennett's coaching future seemingly a priority in the media for just on a week now, Mr Cullen said he wanted the focus of Broncos players, staff, sponsors and fans to be on what lay ahead of the team in Season 2006.
“I don't mind the speculation, but when these rumours start making it in to print and on our TV screens as though it is fact, it becomes very annoying,” the Broncos managing director said today.
“I have emphasised a number of times during the past week that Wayne has a contract with the Broncos until the end of the 2009 season, and that I expected him to fulfill that. I also stated that I had not discussed these rumours with Wayne because our relationship is such that I knew if he had other ideas, he would discuss the issue with me.
“But at the end of the day – and in an effort to `kill' off the continuing speculation – Wayne and I did sit down to confirm our on-going relationship in regard to his coaching contract at the Broncos. Today, I confirm publicly that Wayne and I have met and discussed the conjecture about his future.”
Mr Cullen said the status quo at the Broncos remains – the coaching contract of Wayne Bennett was extended a year ago, until the end of Season 2009.
“The firm commitment from both parties is that the contract will be completed in full,” Mr Cullen said.
“During the ensuing three years we will be putting in place a succession plan for the years going forward after 2009. This is common practice in business and here at the Broncos we do this to cover a number of positions, including my own as CEO and Managing Director.
“I am very happy with this arrangement, as is Wayne and the Broncos Board, and we all look forward to continuing the success we have experienced with him at the helm during the history of the Broncos.”
Mr Cullen said he also wanted to take the opportunity today to explain what – at the Broncos anyway – is meant by `annual reviews'.
“Some people in the media seem to have focused on this practice as a `will we sack him or won't we?' exercise, and that is simply not the case,” he said.
“Every employee at the club is involved in a review process – including me – and I must stress it's about what we did or did not do during the past year, and how we can do things better, going forward.
“The Broncos celebrate our 20th anniversary next year and even before we finalise our 2006 campaign, our record over that time is exceptional compared to all other NRL clubs.
“This is our 15th consecutive finals appearance and during that time we have won five premierships. This season we finished third on the premiership table for the third consecutive year, which is a magnificent achievement in this tough and very even competition.
“And it has been Wayne Bennett, as coach, who has steered the Broncos through this entire period.”