Manly have claimed victory in their feud with Trent Barrett, with the club avoiding an embarrassing financial settlement by paying him the remainder of his contract to do bugger-all.
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Trent Barrett’s days at Manly training are over after the Sea Eagles and the NRL club’s outgoing coach reached a deal to avoid awkward scenes at the club’s Narrabeen base.
The four-month stand-off between Barrett and Manly is yet to be resolved, but under the terms of the new agreement the former coach will still be paid monthly provided he stays away from club training.
It comes after Barrett had reportedly considered showing up alongside replacement coach Des Hasler on Friday, before he was ultimately a no-show.
It’s the first real agreement reached in negotiations, as Barrett continues to be employed by the club during his 12 months’ notice period after resigning in July.
“Late this afternoon lawyers for Trent Barrett put forward a proposal to the Manly club that Trent would refrain from attending work during his notice period unless the club requires him to do so,” Manly said in a statement on Friday.
“The club accepted that suggestion.
“On the understanding that Trent abides by his obligations under his employment contract, he is entitled to and will be paid each month in accordance with his contract.”
Hasler on Friday oversaw the field session with the club’s non-representative players at the Sydney Academy of Sport.
There could have been awkward scenes had Barrett followed through on suggestions he was going to walk into the club’s headquarters and throw his feet under his desk.
According to Barrett and his camp his contract states he is the club’s head coach and no one else can be employed in the position.
The feud dates back to Barrett’s assertion there were a lack of resources at the club promised to him in a contract extension in 2017 – a claim denied by Manly.
AAP understands the parties were close to reaching a resolution earlier in the week, only to once again hit an impasse.
They are still going through the process of negotiating a pay out which remains at the heart of the issue.
It’s not known how much Barrett is seeking, but the Sea Eagles are believed to be adamant he isn’t entitled to the full amount of his contract given he brought on the saga by handing in his resignation.
They also claim they had no choice but to seek a replacement, given Barrett’s resignation meant he wouldn’t be employed for the whole 2019 season.
The Sea Eagles will have their first hit-out under Hasler in their trial against Cronulla at Brookvale Oval on Saturday, February 23.
They begin their season with a Leichhardt Oval showdown on March 16 against the Wests Tigers in what will be coach Michael Maguire’s first game in charge of the joint venture.