Club Statement: Phil Gould AM

Club Statement: Phil Gould AM

Penrith Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher has released the following statement:

“This morning Panthers Chairman Dave O’Neill and myself met with Phil Gould to discuss his position at the club.

“Phil was adamant that his position as Executive General Manager Rugby League has become redundant and his time at Panthers is at an end.

“While there will be opportunity for further reflection once matters are formalised, I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary impact Phil has had on this club since returning as Executive General Manager in 2011.

“The Panthers Board will meet tomorrow to discuss the potential terms of Gould’s departure from Panthers.”


For those who missed part one of this saga, here is the thread foreshadowing this event [LINK]

I have mixed feelings about this, hard to describe in words per se, but I will give it a go;

As good an ambassador for Penrith he is, and winning us our first grand final, the following have never sat well with me;

  1. his departure during the super league war and poaching Fittler and Sing

  2. His 5 year plan and the (apparent) lack of progress. (I know this is debatable with the academy and all).

  3. His sacking of Cleary, and the loss / lack of development surrounding Moylen and Cartwright (not that he is solely to blame for the last two).

  4. He has also seemed to put his media career and persona above all else, even when it was to the detriment of Penrith.

  5. His blaming of previous administration for all the clubs ills, some true, some hyperbole, and some outright lies - this to me plays into number 4, and his “god like” complex.

I do hope unlike before he doesn’t take our best with him.

Had a feeling this was coming.

As I stated in the previous thread, his goal was to work himself out of a job, and it looks like he has achieved that. He has done a lot of good for us over the last few years, with a first grade premiership being about the only box that didn’t get ticked.

Sad to see him go, but happy with what he has done for us.

According to the statement amongst other sources, he has done his job. The structure has been straightened out, junior development is on track, we have a ‘Centre of Excellence’ that serves the club and greater sporting community.

The stories of him walking the halls may indeed true, having stepped mack and let the system he implemented take over.

I am the first to admit, I wasn’t a fan when he came to the club, he was… abrasive with those involved with the club at the time to say the least. His position of social media and fan engagement was poor in my opinion, but let’s face it, that not why the club engaged him.

I think for what he was hired for, he ticked a lot of boxes and made significant progress, for which he should be commended by the club and fans alike. We are a much more professional outfit then we were 8 years ago and the envy of other clubs.

But it’s time to take of the training wheels, and let the club pedal on their own now, and for that reason, Gus’ time at Penrith had to end.


Long time coming. Some think he was the messiah, some the emperor with no clothes. I guess history will judge somewhere in between. For me the karma bus arrived & took him back to the shire.

I trust his payout considers the $ wasted in the coaching merry-go-round.

I am delighted to see his time at Panthers put to bed but there are some further remarks which may be in contrast to what some have posted or think.

I feel terribly sorry for the careers who have been affected by this person at Panthers and this goes to the coaches including lower grade coaches, the poor players who have suffered at his expense and the poor fans who have had to deal with an ego larger then any who have been involved at Panthers and that is saying a lot because there have been some, but this guy in my opinion was only allowed to get away with what he did by poor oversight and in my opinion over hyped ability.

What troubles me most is the absolute mess he has wedded us to going forward with some on monies and contracts who wouldn’t make almost any first grade squad and will take much time to work us out of this.

But today we can finally draw a line under his continued hollow promises and the buck now formally sits not only Ivan and the team but the Board under Dave Oneill.

If this break gives us the freedom to achieve,it will be a great thing.

What we do not want to hear is about the mess Gould left…
Cleary now has the freedom and authority to run this team as his team and to demonstrate to everyone what abilities he has as aa coach.
And i do not want to ever hear again about a 5 year plan…i can live with losses, i can live with terrible losses but i want to consistency and a level of excellence from the team which makes us proud to be Panther supporters
This means executing at the elite level as the 2 standout teams Storm and Rosster do…they are the benchmark we have to get too…then pass.

That is and should be the only plan.

I understand that the role/position of Executive General Mngr Rugby League has become redundant with Phil Goulds departure, but what did the position actually entail? What did he do? Is restructuring required?

Will someone else be appointed, or is the positions redundancy permanent until otherwise advised?

From what I understand, he role had essentially been made redundant, with all responsibilities delegated to other people within the organisation.

To my understanding, Gus had phased himself out of the role he was put in and was left with not much left to do, hence his decision to move on.

With any luck he could kick Greenburg out of the NRL CEO role. I think his expertise would be valuable in that position.

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He says his role has become redundant, sounds like he just wanted to quit with the payout, good bye!

What the hell was that eulogy read out at the game - I asked Neddy, did he f*&%ing die?

The over sanitised version of Gould’s 3rd time at our club was a great contrast with the seemingly reluctant tribute paid to Merv Cartwright on his passing. Merv built our club from nothing with his own blood, sweat & tears & not for the cash, and not with help from rich benefactors who got their pound of flesh in return.

Taking only the best of Gould’s 8 years, & giving him credit for all the good things only, he did a job that he was well paid for is walking away from with a nice payout. And then, after the eulogy, a call for a round of applause. What, no statue?? No ticker tape parade, or at least a lap of honour. There was special irony for me with the tribute to Gould coming the day after Anzac Day, when our true heroes are recognised.


More rumours are abound, I have heard 4 stories all with the same “structure” around them. Not good if true, let’s hope they remain as rumours!!

… tease ! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

‘The’ Rumour is a former panther (not that good either) who is no longer in the country has the ‘goods’ and everyone is shitting their pants. It would be no surprise based on performances if true.

what are "the goods’?

More of the same with those we believe to be our future.

Look, I will start by saying 2 things:

  1. I have no knowledge of the dramas (porngate & power struggles) apart from what has been reported, but that doesn’t stop others from speculating :wink:
  2. I still consider that going into the season we had a good side, and that good players don’t become bad players over night or over an off-season

Something, or things, has clearly gone wrong to completely put our performances on the field way below expectations. I fear that the inappropriate behaviour runs much deeper & many at our club are aware of this. Some of you will recognise that I have little time for Gould, but I can clearly still see right now the look on his face when he spoke of the issues in that interview with the dribbler - he was shattered.
Maybe I am totally wrong, but I see in our club a great divide between the players who are family men, with moral & religious convictions & another group, not so much. Was the behaviour so bad, that the two groups just cannot work together??
Kevin, I am guessing, is referring to an ex-player who’s game fell apart after a break-up, seemingly that another ex-player was involved in.

In any case, the facts need to come out, at least within the footy club, the air be cleaned and ‘punishments’ metred out, and we start anew. I don’t care where the blame lies, it needs to be fixed.

It’s as if the world changed the day Gould sacked Griffin, but now it seems the sore was already festering.

I have been here since '67 and will be here until my final siren, and I am pained by what is happening.

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Nothing to do with Merrin as far as I’m aware and besides I rate him as a player. I should point out the player in question is not Australian.

The De Belin case doesn’t help our cause…

Wonder how we will turn up tonight !