The NRL has stood by the on-field decision to send Jake Trbojevic to the sin bin for a professional foul late in Manly’s semifinal loss to South Sydney.
Trent Barrett’s days at Manly appear numbered as the Sea Eagles coach apologised for not being able to offer clarity on his future because of legal reasons.
A hamstrung Barrett fronted the media on Thursday for the first time since reports emerged he was set to walk out on the club at the end of the year.
When asked if he’d handed in his resignation with two years remaining on his contract, Barrett said he hadn’t but indicated he was involved in negotiations with the club.
He said the ball remained in his hands when it came to his future.
“For legal reasons I can’t answer those sort of questions today. I would certainly like to be able to,” he said.
“But out of respect for the club I don’t want to sit here and say too much today. I have been told by the club that with the legalities around it all I won’t be commenting on that today.”
When asked whether he’d be at the club next year, Barrett was again unable to offer full comment but hoped all would be sorted by the end of the week.
“Yes, as I stand here today, yes,” he answered.
“But I can’t go into it. I’d like to be able to and I don’t like being out here at 8am when I’ve got nothing to say.
“When the dust settles and we sort things out at our end and the club’s end I’ll be able to talk.”
Barrett admitted to frustrations that he was again being left to answer questions in a dramatic year at the club.
He said he understood fans’ frustration.
Chairman and owner Scott Penn is overseas while chief executive Lyall Gorman has been silent as the club only offered a brief statement on Wednesday without shedding any further light on Barrett’s future.
“The fans wouldn’t be the only ones frustrated,” Barrett said.
“You’d have to ask Lyall and the club (why nothing can be confirmed). I apologise.
“It’s out of my hands to be honest.”
Barrett also said he couldn’t go into his main issues with the club, although it’s understood a clause in last year’s contract extension promised increased support at a football department level.
Manly are yet to land a recruitment manager, while they are also operating without a pathways coach and football director.
The 40-year-old also said he had yet to be approached by rival clubs for next season, and that he had kept his players in the loop ahead of Friday’s clash with the Gold Coast.