Seibold ultimatum: What coach must do to avoid axe
Besieged Anthony Seibold must win five of Brisbane's final 10 games this season or he will be sacked as Broncos coach.
The Sunday Mail can reveal Seibold is no longer a coaching untouchable with Brisbane's board running out of patience with him in the wake of Friday night's disgraceful 48-0 loss to the Wests Tigers.
Broncos chairman Karl Morris and CEO Paul White refused to comment yesterday, although Brisbane hierarchy confirmed there was no immediate plan to terminate Seibold before Friday's clash against Melbourne.
However, Seibold is no longer completely safe for next year - and performances in the second half of the season will dictate if he remains in charge in 2021.
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Just a fortnight ago, Broncos bosses insisted Seibold had a five-year contract and reiterated they were prepared to give the 45-year-old time to rebuild the youthful Brisbane roster he inherited from Wayne Bennett.
But the Tigers horror show has triggered high-level concern.
Seibold is contracted until the end of 2022, with an option in the club's favour for 2023, but it is understood he will not survive for a third campaign if he cannot bring some credibility to Brisbane's year from hell.
There are 10 games left in the 2020 season. If Seibold fails to win at least five more games, and move the Broncos close to finals contention, Brisbane's executives will discuss a severance package.
A fortnight ago, Seibold conceded there were no guarantees he would see out his five-year deal, saying: "If at some stage the Broncos didn't think that I was the right person for the job, then that's their decision."
The Broncos have a tough run home and, on current evidence, there is no certainty Seibold will be able to muster a 50 per cent win record in the final 10 rounds to save his job.
Over the next six weeks, the Broncos face a torrid run against Melbourne (home), the Sharks (home), South Sydney (away), Canberra (away), the Dragons (home) and premiers the Roosters (away).
In the final month, they square off against Penrith (home), the Titans (away), big guns Parramatta (away) and arch rivals the Cowboys (home).
On form, the Broncos could win four of 10 games with possible scalps in the Sharks, Dragons, Titans and Cowboys. It would take a major form reversal for Seibold to bring down heavyweights Melbourne, the Roosters, Canberra, the Eels and Penrith.
It is understood majority owners News Corp, publishers of this paper, who own a 69 per cent stake in the club, are not stepping into the Broncos affair. They are leaving the decision on whether to fire Seibold to the Broncos board led by chairman Morris.
After Brisbane's 30-12 loss to the Titans on June 27, Morris said the club was trying to support Seibold but were not entirely satisfied with his coaching performance.
"I wouldn't say I'm extremely happy with Anthony," he said.
"Obviously, but I'm conscious of the enormous amount of pressure he is under.
"I have shareholders to consider, but News Corp are 69 per cent owners of the Broncos and they are staying the course."
Former NSW and Test halfbacks Greg Alexander and Peter Sterling said Brisbane had to consider sacking Seibold in the wake of the Tigers debacle.
"Seibold is under enormous pressure," Alexander said on Fox Sports.
"At the moment, he is allowing players that are doing the jersey no justice to dictate his future."
Sterling added on Channel 9: "I don't know how he survives ... I think that first half (26-0 deficit) may have been the death knell."