GREEN DEAL UPSETS BRONCOS COACH PLAN
The Cowboys yesterday announced a $2.8 million contract bonanza for coach Paul Green in a move that has rocked the Broncos’ succession plan for the post-Wayne Bennett era.
Green is the Cowboys’ first
$1 million coach with chairman
Laurence Lancini to front a press conference today in Townsville to formally announce a lucrative three-year upgrade.
Green will become the longestserving coach in Cowboys history, remaining at the club until the end of 2021, with the premiership winner’s annual salary to reach $1 million in 2020.
By securing Green amid a worrying five-game losing streak, the
Cowboys have staved off a Broncos poaching threat, sabotaging Brisbane’s plans for life after Bennett.
Bennett, 68, is off-contract at the end of 2019 and is yet to announce his future plans.
The Broncos, via a third party, have sounded out Green about the possibility of succeeding Bennett, but the Cowboys have scuppered any potential move by locking up the mentor who delivered their maiden premiership in 2015.
Lancini declined to comment, but a fortnight ago, he said: “I have the utmost respect for Paul. We want to see him staying here for the long term.”
Green, who has held the clipboard in 115 NRL games, will surpass the late Graham Murray (161) and Neil Henry (124) to become
North Queensland’s most-capped coach. Cowboys centre Justin O’Neill, a member of Green’s 2015 title-winning team, said retaining the former Maroons Origin player was a coup for the club.
“That’s great news,” he said.
“He has done great things as a coach at this club.
“I know the boys have a lot of respect for him. He definitely brings a lot to the Cowboys.”
A fortnight ago Green was under pressure to sign the $2.8m extension after six months of protracted negotiations. Cowboys hierarchy wanted an answer by mid-April or warned Green they would pull the deal.
The mid-April time frame has proved accurate, with Lancini getting his man at a time when the
Cowboys, title favourites in pre-season, are languishing in second-last spot.
Green sought a number of incentivebased performance clauses in his contract pertaining to North Queensland’s membership numbers, marketing initiatives and corporate strength.
But the Cowboys board rejected that request.
Green will ink a traditional deal that puts him in the same salary stratosphere as Bennett and Storm super coach Craig Bellamy.
Green is facing his biggest challenge as Cowboys coach after his troops suffered a fifth straight loss for the first time under his leadership in Saturday’s 27-10 defeat to Canterbury.