Sacked coach Anthony Griffin says his former Penrith boss Phil Gould was delighted when the club lost, and downcast when they won.
Griffin was fired by Gould despite the Panthers being well placed in the top eight, with recent comeback victories on the board.
The shock sacking could have implications for the top-eight chasing Warriors, who face Penrith in the penultimate game of the regular NRL season.
And it added to the Gould legend, a powerful league figure like no other, a successful State of Origin coach and premiership winner, an influential media character, but with too many tickets on himself for other people's good.
"An extraordinary tale of betrayal," is how foxsports describes Griffin's treatment, reflecting how most view Gould's decision to flick a coach who had them in a position to win the title.
The doomed coach said Gould failed to offer even a murmur of congratulations after they had thrashed the pacesetting Dragons this year to take spot on the NRL ladder.
"It's the saddest I have ever seen him. We were officially on top of the ladder, having overcome this huge run of injuries earlier in the year, but nothing," Griffin said.
"When we lost there was always an inquiry, how had we had failed in our preparation, but there was never any inquiry when we won."
Griffin also claims that Gould appeared happy after the Broncos smashed the Panthers in Brisbane a fortnight ago.
"I have never seen him so happy than when Brisbane put 50 on us," said Griffin, the former Broncos coach who took over at Penrith in 2016.
"And then I've never seen him so agitated than when we just beat Manly (in a nailbiter, late July)."
Griffin continued: "He needs a reason to justify why he would sack a coach four weeks from the finals when the team is in a successful position. I have never had a problem with anyone in the playing group.
"I have been wronged by a club that I have done so much good for. I did a good job. I have done a lot of hard yards and now I have got to go and find another job."
Griffin hit back at Gould's claim that he had an "old school" approach and was not inclusive enough.
He attacked Gould for portraying him badly in public and said Gould meddled with his coaching. He described Gould's claim that he had lost the players' support as "spin" to justify the sacking.
And he lifted the lid on a famous tunnel spat between the pair, in a pre-season match against the Bulldogs this year.
"My whole focus of that game was getting my forwards to play 40 minutes," he said.
"I couldn't have given a f*** about the attack. Gus came in and listened to my speech at halftime. I walked past him in the tunnel on the way up to the coach's box and said 'how you going?'"
"He says to me: 'You didn't even f***ing address the attack.' I thought he was joking. I thought, he can't be serious … I said 'yeah, but it did happen'. That's Gus. He wants to call me old school but I was never going to be subservient to him."
"I was brought in to do a job from the inside out. Or that was my vision for the players — and it's happening.
"I know something Gus said about the next level or we couldn't go to the next level (under my coaching). Well, we're at the next level and we're there quicker than I thought we would be."