Balmain Tigers legend Benny Elias has called on the Wests Tigers to have more transparency amid the speculation around coach Michael Maguire’s future.
Football director Tim Sheens confirmed late last week that everything from Maguire to recruitment and retention was officially under review.
It means Maguire is back in the firing line … six months after he was spared the ax following another internal review.
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Elias conceded the club and its fans are reaching “a place of desperation”. He also believes the Tigers’ troubles go “a lot deeper” than Maguire and wants answers.
“Last year they did a forensic review on the performance of our club,” Elias told Fox Sports News.
“Our team hasn’t made the top eight for the last decade so for our suffering fans out there it’s really becoming a place of desperation of what we should and shouldn’t do.
“It’s not just the coach – far from it actually. It goes a lot deeper than that.
“I’d like first and foremost to have a look at this forensic review they did last year, which took them nearly nine weeks to do – that’s my answer. Go and have a look at that and then come out with what were the deficiencies and what were the pluses in the place.
“The place looks very strong, we are financially extremely strong, infrastructure, facilities – very strong. Junior rugby league – extremely strong.
“So there’s something wrong and it frustrates me to no end that they haven’t revealed this review, which should be made public, because the supporters that love this great club need to know what the outcome of that review was.”
Elias, who played 233 games for the Balmain Tigers, revealed he asked the club for the outcome of last year’s review but has had no luck.
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“Zero, zero, zero and it’s just frustrating,” Elias said when asked what sort of response he received.
“Not just to me, but for the people out there that support our great club.
“It is frustrating that they did not release the answers or the questions that have been detailed in this review which is really just inexcusable, I believe, to not be released.
“I just think the supporters, the members and the public need to know why the answers are just not there for the Tigers so far.
“We are struggling, we are at the bottom of the competition after 12 rounds – it’s just not good enough for us.”
Sheens will make a recommendation to the board on Maguire’s future by the Tigers’ next game – June 12. However, there have been reports that suggest Maguire could be shown the door by the end of this week.
Elias said that ultimately Maguire is responsible for the club’s questionable recruitment and retention calls.
But he also believes the blowtorch should also be put on the board given they signed off on Maguire’s two-year extension in December, 2020 – after the club finished 10th.
“He’s been there for four years so he’s responsible for all the players that have come from that club,” he said.
“He’s the guy that says yes or no, he runs it by the board, the rubber rubber stamps it and there we go, that’s his clientele.
“If it was a business it would be red ink everywhere. there’s one person that’s accountable for it at the end of the day and that is the coach.
“I don’t know how much longer they can be patient for.
“It is because they have to sign him out for another two years and that’s an absolute disaster from a financial point of view, which again has to put focus on the hierarchy on the board, who elected him there.
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“I don’t know how much longer he can stand there for but I do feel for him because he does not lack any effort, he gives it his whole and soul and he truly believes in the place.
“But when I heard him say there’s a three-year plan ahead, it just doesn’t get it with me anymore.”
“I believe in the club, I love the club,” Elias added.
“Blokes like myself, Blocker Roach, Wayne Pearce, Paul Sironen, Garry Jack … these people love the club and our thoughts and our wishes are only with the club and only becoming more and more desperate as we go on week-in, week-out. ”