Anthony Griffin Released


Maloney on BSB this morning seemed to indicate that the players weren’t really involved in this, which is a concern to me. To sack a coach four weeks out from finals, you’d think it’d be a last resort option - the club’s stuck with Hook all year, why do it now unless the players themselves have said “this isn’t working and we want to try something else”?
I don’t like that this is becoming habit for the club. Cleary was sacked pretty unceremoniously, and now Griffin too. We’re going to struggle to find coaches who want to come to Penrith in the future if we keep this up. (In saying that, supposedly there were 12 applicants overnight?)

Gould has said that we’ve approached two current NRL coaches. Cleary seems to be the name being thrown around the most, though that could just be because of Nathan. I don’t think building the entire club around just the Clearys is the right way to go about it. It’d also be bizarre for him to leave the Tigers, with two years left on his contract, in the middle of a rebuild, to come back to a club that dumped him. Must really want to coach his son.

The other name we’ve been hearing a lot is Bennett. I don’t know if Wayne is the right man to get the best out of our squad either. Someone younger and fresher probably suits the squad better.

Bizarre situation and questionable timing. We’ll see if it pays off on Saturday against the Titans - if we come out strong in the first half and keep it up for the whole game then I’ll take that as pretty solid evidence that this is the boost the team needed. If we have another 60 minutes of frustration followed by 20 minutes of throwing the ball around that manages to get us the win again then I think we’ll all be wondering - what exactly was the point?


GOLD - “Look at the end of the day, we are not interested in winning the premiership, we are more concerned about building” bla bla bla

What happened to the 5 year plan…


I don’t believe Ivan Cleary will return to coach Penrith because:

  1. He has the reputation of being a man of his word. So, I think it will be important to him that he honour his contract with the Tigers.

  2. He’s rebuilt the Tigers’ roster and attracted attracted a fair bit of talent who came to the club to play under Cleary. I think he will be reluctant to let them down.

  3. There have been any number of articles establishing that Gould has told Nathan Cleary that, if he wants to leave the club and play under his father, Gould will not stand in his way. If that’s the case, Ivan Cleary doesn’t need to come to Penrith to coach his son. All Nathan Cleary has to do is tell Gould he wants to leave the club to play under his father.

  4. Even if Gould does block Nathan Cleary from leaving, his contract is up at the end of 2019. If both Clearys want to unite at the same club, all they need to do is wait for another year. Then Nathan can join his dad at the Tigers, with both father and son having behaved honourably and fairly.

  5. Ivan Cleary was unceremoniously shafted by Gould in 2015 with a year on his contract remaining.

  6. Anthony Griffin was unceremoniously shafted yesterday with 2 years on his contract remaining. So, Cleary knows from personal experience and precedent that the length of a contract (especially at Penrith, apparently) means nothing. So, the reported offer of a 4 year deal is meaningless

In light of all that - plus the Tiger’s insistence that Cleary is not going anywhere until his contract expires - why would Ivan Cleary return to Penrith?

Finally, I know all the arguments about the Club being bigger than the individual, needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few etc etc. But, in my opinion, the club has behaved appallingly in this whole episode. By sacking Griffin in such a ruthless, ill-timed manner, the club has sent a message to every player that they can expect no loyalty from their employer. They are merely cogs in a machine, as disposable and replaceable as piston rods.

What goes around comes around.


Disclosure: I have little time for Gould - he left our club twice and when it suits he will do it again.

There are two groups within our supporters -
1.the ones who think that Gould is the messiah and can do no wrong. They even have a banner “IN GUS WE TRUST”

  1. the ones who think that every decision made by Gould is in his own self-interest, but that he isn’t wrong every time, but often enough that it is a worry.

I think there is no doubt that Gould’s perfect job would be the chief poobah role (all the power & no responsibility) he has with us, but at his beloved roosters instead of here. Of course Uncle Nick knows that there is no such a position in his club, and the roosters likely think that winning the comp is most important.

I couldn’t believe that Gould extended Hook’s contract when he did & now he sacks him at the business end of a difficult season with the play-offs beckoning. Now we find players have left because of Hook and now Hook is gone.

I have no idea who will take over, but Bennett destroyed the Knights and Hasler the dogs and they are two of the options being raised. If Gould had his time over, perhaps what some of us wanted ie not extend Hook and sign ‘our guy’ Brennan, but he would never admit that, even if he believed it to be true.

Let’s see how this develops.


Don’t think I’m 1 or 2 Mr Walker, but 3.

Think Gould has done some terrific things for Panthers.
But rattling the clubs integrity and perhaps his own
is not in our best interests, neither short or long term.
Let’s hope the players have the grit and character
to rise above the bedlam and deliver what is arguably
achievable this year, a premiership.


Yes of course Puss, I didn’t mean there were only 2 groups.

I am afraid that Gould is like a RL version of Donald Trump - shoots of his mouth without thinking too often, shows no loyalty, contradicts himself way too often & surely even he doesn’t believe some of the things he says. All good for a media hack, but not appropriate for managing a significant organisation where his whims effect people’s livelihood, and OUR team.


Funny you should say that.

Before it was announced in the media that Ivan Cleary was being sought by Gould, I had made the comment that I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a play for Ivan, my logic is that Nathan would prefer to sign a new deal at Penrith and his father has a desire to coach him.

I was asked considering what happened to Ivan Cleary at Penrith before that how would Gould explain this one away (the resigning of Ivan), and I said this “He doesn’t. He will exclaim he was right in what he did then, and he is right what he is doing now. To me, that’s how he operates.” when I was writing this I was thinking of Donald Trump. As long as you think what you are doing is right is doesn’t matter what others say, even if what you are doing is wrong, or what you say is a lie.


Does anyone actually believe we had 12 possible coaches apply overnight after the announcement? Or do other people think that this was a random number thrown up by Gould?


The latter. But what do I know.


Ivan Cleary. Is the juice worth the squeeze? If he formally asks for a release is his name going to be mud in the NRL community for the next couple of years? Will Panthers get get a bad name if they successfully poach him from the Tigers? With Hook going on Foxsports and the recent press release from the Tigers things are definitely going to get ugly before they get better. Nobody would like to see Ivan back at the club more than me but I think we should be looking elsewhere But we need the right person and I think the right person is already at the club in Cam Ciraldo. He has the right people around him, the players love him and with Gus and Brandy providing support it will only be a positive solution.


I like all the comments here and the 1 glaring issue is “bringing the Panthers into disrepute”. The coaches get fined by the NRL for bad mouthing the refs and what Gus has done to Hook is appalling.

He could have easily said “our strategies differed greatly, my want and desire to take this team to where I believe we should be was against the principles of Anthony, given this lack of cohesion, I have decided to end the relationship with the current coach at the end of the season, unfortunately Anthony has decided that it would be best to part ways immediately and we have accepted that”.

Both parties walk away saving face, Gus in not so many words says it’s my way or the highway and the Panthers maintain some kind of professional integrity. The way it stands right now, I wouldn’t want to work for Gus, you would be on egg shells…


and during his tenure assistant coaches have remained just that,
or moved on !!!


Further on the ‘Donald speak’ of Gould was when he was asked about how would it be with Ivan since he had sacked him 3 years ago and he said something like “I thought I was right at the time, I may have been wrong, but it doesn’t matter now”.

Guess that’s his rationale to cover all matters, sort of the ‘it was not a lie if i thought it was true at the time’.

I agree with Kevin that he could have sacked Hook without completely shitting on him, but he has form. He tries to impose his will on people, when they don’t buckle under he sets out on a campaign to rubbish belittle and destroy them to get his way. I still clearly remember the way he went after Jenko, Flash, Timmy, Lewy & Sammy when they had the hide to want to stick to the contracts they had signed.

A man is judged by how he treats others & he will be judged badly as a person by any measure -the ends don’t always justify the means.


I really don’t understand the sympathy for another club (West Tigers) who has form for sacking coaches themselves (Jason Taylor, Mick Potter)? Rugby League is a business as much is it is a sport these days. If Ivan wants to come over sooner rather than later to coach he’s son and the club he helped build than power to it I say.
I for one am happy that hook is gone for this reason. We were NOT going to win a premiership while he was the coach, not this year or any other! If anyone thinks we were, than they were fooling themselves in my opinion. All this other crap about what Gould said a few weeks/months ago, I mean really what was he supposed to say? That the coach was on the way out! That would be one sure way to submarine the season imo.


I do find it ironic that Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe talks about loyalty and sticking to a contract, and how underhanded the Panther club has been in recent days.

If I remember correctly, Justin Pascoe was not fired by Panthers as he claims and that we was secretly negotiating with the West Tigers while he was serving as Penrith Panthers CEO, and when it was discovered that it was taking place he was mutually released from the Panthers and Justin announced his new position with the Tigers within hour of his supposed sacking.

Now that the same thing is happening to him, all of a sudden it deplorable, and dispicable, and unprofessional, and underhanded.

"What goes around, comes around Justin"


I’m sympathetic, not towards the Tigers club, but to their fans. It’s been a rough few years and just when they’re starting to get a bit of stability and see the light at the end of the tunnel, this happens. Cleary has been a huge part of their current rebuild and if he goes it’ll be a huge step backwards. If this was happening in reverse, I’d be unhappy about it, and I think pretty rightfully so.

No sympathy for Pascoe and the board though.


I was disappointed when Cleary was sacked initially & have been hoping for him to come back at some stage.
He is in the difficult situation of having the opportunity of coaching his son in a strengthening franchise but having to walk away from a Club where he is halfway through an impressive rebuild.
I hope he returns and is not overly condemned for the decision.


NRL360 puts much of what’s transpired in a new light.
Make up your own minds. Me I just wanna see some
good winning footy played by Panthers. And integrity
restored at the foot of the mountains.


I just watched NRL 360 which had Anthony Griffin as a guest.
Without any knowledge of his coaching ability, I thought he was a class act after the kick in the guts he has taken.
In his eyes, he has done a job at Penrith - even though we have not won a NRL premiership, over the last 3 years we have picked up at least one throughout the various divisions. ( food for thought )
Whether this is a result of Anthony’s, Gus’s or a collectively a group effort I don’t know, but as a Panther supporter it gives me some pride as an overall club we are a force that will give us a real chance of ongoing NRL success.


While I am always somewhat cautionary with regards to Gould and his motives (I think that stems way back to Super League), one thing I have to give to him he is an expert negotiator when it comes to making a deal.

I dare say he has a sweetener lined up for the Tigers, possibly a player transfer or two.

If we do fail to procure Cleary, there is no way I can see Bennet coming here. Gould claims Griffin wouldn’t work with others, he was too old school, and it was his way or the highway - if that’s not a description of Bennet I don’t know what is.

My pick for plan B - Maguire.

Time will tell