Broncos CEO Paul White insists coach Anthony Seibold will not be sacked and said the vision the coach had for the club when he was appointed was being realised.
The Broncos lost their sixth game in a row with a 26-16 defeat to the Warriors and White said recent performances were unacceptable.
When he fronted media in Brisbane on Sunday it was to reaffirm the club’s commitment to Seibold, who is on a five-year deal, and the playing group. He also said he was happy with the roster that Seibold had at his disposal and that there were “no excuses”.
On November 24 of 2018 the Broncos put out a press release reaffirming that chairman Karl Morris had told Wayne Bennett that he would be their coach in 2019, as he was contracted to be.
A week later Bennett was sacked.
Match Highlights: Warriors v Broncos
When asked whether a similar change of heart could occur again White said he didn't want to go into a "War and Peace" analysis of Bennett's exit but said the following:
"I am standing in front of you, deliberately so, to reaffirm my commitment to our coach," he said.
"We made a long-term commitment to Anthony.
"We started the year with two straight wins and had a great pre-season. For circumstances beyond our control the season was halted. Some teams have shot out after the re-start of the season and taken their game to a new level. We haven’t and we haven’t handled it well.
"After our sixth straight loss we are facing a critical juncture in our season and now is not the time to be making decisions around our coach, and I won’t be doing that. Now is about reaffirming my support for my coach, the people involved in our football program and in particular for our young playing group.
“Their passion for the jersey can’t be understated. They want to turn it around. The only way they can do that is if we can give them clarity about our unwavering support.”
White said premiership-winning old boy Peter Ryan had been brought in to help Seibold on the coaching staff and that four-time premiership-winning captain Allan Langer was also on staff to assist.
"He is a good coach. He is going through a tough time at the moment," White said of Seibold.
"Many other coaches who have coached at this club, Wayne included, have gone through tough periods in their career.
"The club stayed the course and was rewarded on the other side of it and that is what we intend to do now.”
White said the five-year deal for Seibold was not a mistake.
When Bennett was sacked in 2018 it was after winning 64 per cent of games in the four seasons since he returned to the club, the same win rate as he had prior to 2009. Seibold's win rate since his appointment is 39 per cent.
When asked whether Seibold’s pitch for the job he was given at the end of 2018 lined up with what he had seen so far, White said "most definitely" while conceding that losing six games in a row was "not part of the plan".
"I am happy with our roster but we do need to take a longer-term view of that," White said.
"There will be ups and downs. We could turn this around next week and hopefully we do but with the development of a playing squad and roster you do have ups and downs.
"In the modern game the margin between success and failure is razor thin. Our aim is to develop a system at the club where the difference between our best performance and worst performance isn’t poles apart. We are not there yet and that is what we are working to become.
"We knew there would be some change and change is never easy but when you bring a new coach in you've got to give him his head, and we're doing that."
There has been a lot made of the youth of the Broncos squad but it is of the club's own making. Only 13 players remain from the 2018 squad that Bennett had at his disposal.
"Our roster is a good roster. At the moment we have nine players out injured and one suspended so the players available at the moment are somewhat limited," White said.
"We have a talented roster and we should be doing better. The players know that. There are no excuses being made today."
White said that the purpose of his press conference was to reaffirm to members and supporters just how much the players and coaching staff were "hurting" at the recent dismal displays, which was evident by several players being in tears in the wake of the Warriors loss.
At the end of last year after the 58-0 loss to the Eels in the semi-finals the Broncos underwent a root-and-branch review of operations. Despite the performances over the past six weeks, White said the Broncos "are not doing a root-and-branch review right at the moment".
"We are trying to keep our entire playing roster supported so they can give themselves the best chance of winning next Saturday night [against the Bulldogs]," he said.
"Be rest assured that we are always reviewing our actions, our roster and what we can do better."
When Bennett returned to the club at the end of 2014 it was with the backing of long-time Broncos supporter Lachlan Murdoch, now co-chairman of News Corp which owns 69 per cent of the Broncos courtesy of subsidiary Nationwide News.
When Bennett was sacked it was a decision made at the highest level and ticked off by News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller.
Morris said recently that Seibold would not be sacked unless he was instructed to do so by News Corp.
When asked whether Murdoch had taken an interest in the club's affairs like he did when Bennett was brought back at the end of 2014, White said "no".