As the Penrith Board prepares to finalise Phil Gould’s exit from the club, the media and wider rugby league world are continuing to react to the shock development at the foot of the mountains.
Gould yesterday declared his position redundant, with the 60-year-old Executive General Manager and the Panthers agreeing to part ways.
Gould is expected to give more insight into his departure when he appears on the ‘Six Tackles With Gus’ podcast later today.
In the meantime, the rugby league world continues to soak in the news.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said he was surprised by the development.
“I think Gus has done an amazing job at Penrith for a long period of time and I hold him in very high regard,” he told 2GB.
Gould’s departure is big news across Sydney’s main newspapers today. The back page of The Daily Telegraph screams ‘Off The Bus Gus’, while The Sydney Morning Herald features Gould on its front page under the headline ‘Redundant: Gould quits’. He’s also on the back page under the headline ‘The time is right’.
The Herald also has additional comments from Gould, including a denial about a power struggle at the club.
“People read way too much into these situations. There’s no power struggle at Panthers. Absolutely not. I’ve always answered to a board and management team. We work together. It’s not as if one person is in charge,” he said.
On 2GB this morning, breakfast host Alan Jones blasted the decision to allow Gould to walk, declaring the club’s 1991 premiership-winning coach “had forgotten more than Ivan Cleary knows”, a reference to speculation that a feud between Gould and coach Cleary had impacted Gould’s decision.
On Macquarie Sports Radio, veteran journalist Danny Weidler questioned whether Gould’s reported handshake deal with Wayne Bennett to coach the Panthers lurked in the background of the decision.
“If Bennett was there as coach now I wonder whether Gus would’ve thought his role was redundant,” he said.
Twitter is split on its reaction to Gould’s departure, with some paying tribute to the work he’s done at Penrith and others believing it’s the right time for him to move on.
Really thankful for all Phil Gould has done for the @PenrithPanthers ! Without him, the club would have gone belly up financially! He’s made a lot of great changes and made for a better future for Rugby League In Penrith.
Good luck Gus
— Bennywise (@mybsidelife) April 23, 2019
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.