Manly could force Barrett to earn ‘dead money’
RATHER than outlay a heft payout, Manly coach Trent Barrett could be made to earn his money next season by being offered an advisory coaching role.
The Daily Telegraph has been told Manly and Barrett remain locked in complex discussions about whether he would remain at the club in some capacity next season - but not as head coach.
Barrett resigned in July and has a 12 month notice period. Manly are resisting offering a payout of around $500,000, which they described as "dead money".
Manly management will consider whether Barrett could accept a lesser role and help transition a new coach in at Brookvale.
Privately, the Sea Eagles say if they are going to pay Barrett, he will have to work for his money.
Manly will not however demand Barrett stay on.
It is unknown whether Barrett would seek an immediate payout if offered a secondary position.
Both sides are closely watching the other for breach of contract.
One well-placed source said there were still "multiple" possibilities in the Barrett drama with dialogue ongoing.
While a strange situation, Barrett could agree to help in the transition of one candidate, John Cartwright, given the pair was head coach and assistant at Manly for the past three years.
Other coaches in line for the Manly job may however decide against starting at a new club with a former coach still on the coaching staff as an adviser.
The new coach would be told he only needed to work with Barrett until July next season.
It is understood Manly continue to interview the respected Cartwright along with former Souths premiership-winning coach Michael Maguire.
There are also at least two other yet-to-be-revealed candidates. There appears to be no clear favourite. Former Canberra, Gold Coast and North Queensland coach Neil Henry won't be considered.
A Manly statement issued on Wednesday said: "The club continues to work with Trent on an ongoing basis to ensure the best possible continuity of business for its football department, its playing group and the club overall."
The source added: "There are a swag of discussions going on with multiple scenarios. The club won't put themselves or the players in a difficult position - it will be resolved. There are a lot of moving pieces."
Manly players return to training on November 5.
There were fears that Barrett - not wanting to breach his contract - could return to work if his dispute could not be resolved.
Manly officials say the players will not be placed in the awkward and ridiculous position of having two coaches turn up on the same day.
The Daily Telegraph understands the entire situation should be resolved within the next ten days.
Barrett is currently on holidays and did not respond to a Daily Telegraph text message asking whether he would appear at Manly's first off-season training session.
The Sea Eagles held a members' forum on Wednesday but fans left no wiser as to their coach in 2019.
Manly players are seeking a quick resolution, knowing they are back in training in a month. This may benefit Cartwright, who already has an intimidate knowledge of the playing squad.
Sea Eagles chairman Scott Penn was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.
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