Bennett puts heat on Broncos: I won't walk, you'll have to sack me
Wayne Bennett is adamant he will not to walk away from Brisbane and has put it on the club's board and CEO Paul White to sack him if they don't want him at the club in the future.
In a press conference that was as bizarre as it was explosive, Bennett also spoke at length about how players left a barbecue at White's house last Friday to attend another gathering at the coach's home.
He also admitted he may not be at the Broncos in 2019.
Bennett is contracted until the end of next year but it is understood the board has decided not to grant his request to extend his deal beyond that term.
As a result, all of Bennett's public interactions are taken up with questions from media about his future.
When Bennett left for the Dragons in 2008 he did so on his own terms but said this time he would be forcing club officials to make their own call on his future.
"The last time I left I left for similar reasons but I made the decision to leave so this [constant speculation] didn't happen, but this time I haven't made the decision to leave," he said.
"It is up the board now and the CEO to make their decisions. I'm not making the decisions for them this time. I made it easy for them last time but I'm not doing it this time."
Bennett was asked whether the option to stay at Brisbane next year may not be available to him he said "absolutely".
"I live in the real world...and quite realistically I may not be here," he said.
"I haven't been told otherwise, this is the club I want to be at. You'll have to ask the directors that."
When asked whether any decision on his future should wait until an October board meeting at the end of the season Bennett said it was "a question other people should be answering".
"That disappoints me enormously," he said.
"I have to come here and defend myself and nobody else will do that... and answer the questions I can't answer. I'll just have to live with that."
Bennett said he did not have a manager and had not engaged anyone to explore options with other clubs.
"My option is here, simple as that. I want to finish my career here but if my career is to finish next year here then I'll look somewhere else," he said.
Bennett said he had not received a phone call or text messages from any clubs seeking his services.
"That is just media hype and part of the drama," he said.
When asked if he would rule out a return to coach St George Illawarra, he reiterated his priority was to remain at Brisbane.
"I've made that known to everybody, upstairs and downstairs, to all of you... and until that option is not available we'll talk about what the future might bring."
Bennett answered several questions about why some players spent time at a barbecue at White's place last Friday while others attended a function at his house, and some went to both.
The decision by players to not attend White's function has been perceived as a sign of division at the Broncos in the wake of the ongoing lack of certainty about Bennett's contract status beyond this season.
"A lot of them went to Paul's and came onto my place. Like everyone else they feel the pain. It wasn't pre-planned," Bennett said.
"I got text messages they wanted to come to my place. I enjoyed their company, we had a great night. I was proud that the boys were strong enough in their own way to stand for what they believed in."
Bennett said only the players could say whether their decision to visit him was "a sign of support" for the coach.
"I have no opinion on it. I'm just pleased they turned up," he said.