The Newcastle board say the appointment of Rick Stone as head coach made Brian Smith’s departure inevitable.
Directors met last Friday to discuss the club’s future and after appointing Stone to the role, they concluded that it would be “difficult, if not untenable” for him to continue to work with Smith.
”On Friday evening, Rick made a full presentation of what his views were for the club … It was about making an assessment of whether everybody was comfortable with Rick Stone,” club chairman Rob Tew told Fairfax Digital.
”Following the presentation and the interview process that followed … the decision was unanimous, that Rick was the best fellow for the job.
”The consequences of that were that he’s a staff coach and we’re just about to appoint him for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and it would be difficult, if not untenable, if he were to resume staff duties under Brian.”
Smith was announced in July as the Sydney Roosters coach from next season and despite public assurances from Knights Chief Executive Steve Burraston that he would remain in charge at the Knights, his contract was terminated with immediate effect