The Broncos playing group has reportedly snubbed chief executive Paul White in an emphatic show of support for coach Wayne Bennett.
Broncos players, including captain Darius Boyd, on Friday showed where their allegiances lie in the club's bitter power struggle by leaving White red faced at his own function.
The Courier-Mail first reported Broncos players and Bennett failed to show up at White's barbecue function on Friday following their loss to the Cowboys on Thursday night.
Widespread reports have suggested the snub was an deliberately aimed barb at the Broncos' administration, retaliating to recent reports Bennett could be sacked when the club's board of directors meet in October to address their coaching future.
Bennett remains contracted with the Broncos through to the end of the 2019 season, but the club's refusal to grant the 68-year-old a one-season extension through to the end of 2020 has thrown the club into turmoil.
Bennett has in response reportedly told his agent to find a possible alternative club for next season.
The seven-time premiership winning coach has been linked with a move to several clubs, including Penrith, and it was revealed by The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday night that the Dragons are also considering making a play for the master coach if he decides to walk out on the Broncos.
It is an extraordinary mess for the club still fighting to hold its spot in the top eight.
The club's coaching dramas have certainly begun to impact on the club's playing group with several players making their frustration at the club's hierarchy clear when they failed to show up for White's function.
Despite White publicly declaring Bennett will coach the Broncos next season, the veteran administrator and the veteran coach have reportedly fallen out this season over White's reported failure to keep the master coach in the loop surrounding coaching discussions.
The players have clearly sided with Bennett in the ugly dispute.
According to reports, Broncos players chose not to bother showing up for White's BBQ upon learning Bennett himself decided not to attend.
The players reportedly chose instead to spend time with Bennett at his home.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the player snub was "embarrassing" for White.
The report claims many players did attend White's function, but left after a brief stay.
The Courier-Mail reported more than 40 players showed up to White's function, including Matt Gillett, Alex Glenn, Anthony Milford, Matt Lodge, Tevita Pangai Jr, Jamayne Isaako and James Roberts, but their support was overshadowed by the awkward absence of Bennett and Boyd.
The reports came on the same day Broncos great and Bennett's son-in-law Ben Ikin revealed "there is every chance it ends sourly" between the Broncos and Bennett.
Ikin told SEN Breakfast on Tuesday Bennett could exact his revenge on the Broncos for his potential unceremonious exit from the club by moving to the Panthers and winning a grand final with a squad many believe is entering a premiership window.
"Wayne Bennett wants to give a big stuff you to the Broncos," the host of Fox League's NRL 360 said.
"If they're not going to extend him and he wants two more years and they won't give it to him then he could jump to Penrith. He could get his two-year deal. He could work with Phil Gould — the two great minds coming together.
"They don't need to build anything long term. That Panthers list is ready made to win a comp. Bennett arrives, gets his two years. Gould does all that other stuff around coaching and together they do their best to win a comp for Penrith and they get to say to the world, 'Look at us. Look what we did'."
Ikin said the the famous Bennett-Broncos relationship appears destined to end poorly.
"The sense I get is that the Broncos and Wayne Bennett are on very different pages at the moment," he said.
"He (Bennett) was adamant that he wants to continue coaching. He wanted that extension to 2020. And (chairman) Karl Morris and (chief executive) Paul White have been very strong in saying, 'You are getting nothing beyond 2019'. To the point now that, because Wayne called them on it publicly, I think they're going to make a decision on whether or not they actually allow him to see out his contract next year.
"If the Broncos don't improve over the next month then there is every chance that they part company. It's been a wonderful working relationship, Wayne Bennett and the Broncos, but there's every chance it ends sourly."