Dramatic accusations from Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold have cost Wayne Bennett the million-dollar payout he was reportedly chasing.

With the dust settling on the most destructive coaching drama in the Broncos' history, clear winners from the high-stakes negotiations are beginning to emerge.

None of them are Wayne Bennett.

The turbulent coaching swap between South Sydney and Brisbane was finally concluded on Sunday when the Bunnies confirmed Bennett as their coach for 2019 just hours after the 68-year-old was dramatically sacked via voicemail by Broncos chief executive Paul White.

Advertisement

Bennett now has a deal to coach Souths through to the end of 2021, while Seibold has a five-year deal at Brisbane through to the end of the 2023 season.

The incredible mess caused immense angst for fans of both clubs with Bennett's refusal to walk reportedly at the centre of the stand-off.

Bennett on Friday called his own press conference without consulting Broncos administrators, declaring he was staying at the club through to the end of his contract, which expired at the end of 2019.

His refusal to walk reportedly forced the Broncos to sack him with most NRL commentators speculating such a move would mean a full payout of the veteran coach's contract — reportedly worth up to $1 million.

In the end Bennett was reportedly too clever for his own good. Reports on Friday claimed Bennett had already informed South Sydney last week he would be at the club for the official beginning of pre-season training this week.

He then went on to declare he was staying at the Broncos in his Friday press conference.

Bennett has strongly refuted playing both sides, but dramatic accusations from Seibold, reported by The Sunday Telegraph, accused Brisbane's six-time premiership winning coach of reaching out to South Sydney players and making decisions surrounding the Rabbitohs' pre-season training schedule.

Seibold's revelations are reportedly the catalyst for Brisbane officials' decision to sack Bennett on Sunday.

Those accusations were in the eyes of Brisbane's legal representatives grounds for the club to terminate Bennett's contract due to a series of contract breaches.

The Courier-Mail on Monday reported the Broncos' legal team on Sunday spent hours sifting through the "legal minefield" of Bennett's contract breaches before the decision was made to terminate his contract immediately.

The report claims the terms of the termination will see Bennett paid out the $300,000 image-rights component of his contract, but the new Rabbitohs' mentor will not receive a cent of his actual football department contract.

The Daily Telegraph's sports editor-at-large Phil Rothfield told Macquarie Sports Radio there were two reasons the axing only came to a head on Sunday.

"I know News Corp didn't want to pay him out because he's such a legendary figure in Queensland and they obviously didn't want to pay him out $1 million either," Rothfield told Mark Riddell and Mark Levy at Breakfast.

"That's why it didn't come to a head earlier. They just didn't want to sack him. But once they saw Anthony Seibold's email and they saw that he'd been ringing the players, cancelling Anthony Seibold's pre-season camp. Not allowing Robert Jennings to get paid. It's basically a sackable offence."

Anthony Seibold will now coach the Broncos after a sensational coaching switch with Wayne Bennett. Photo / Getty Images
Anthony Seibold will now coach the Broncos after a sensational coaching switch with Wayne Bennett. Photo / Getty Images

Bennett has reportedly ruled out future legal action against his former employer.

Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White fronted the media on Sunday and said Bennett did not answer his phone call so he was forced to leave a voicemail message to end the coach's tenure at the club.

"Today's decision has certainly not been easy," White said.

"I wasn't in a position to speak to him directly.

"It's a very tough decision, one we never saw coming. We no longer had faith that we could give ourselves the best chance of performing if we continued on the path we were continuing on."

Incredibly, Bennett only found out of his sacking via social media because he didn't have his phone with him as White tried to make contact.

"I made multiple phone calls and I unfortunately had to communicate that decision via voice message and over email," White said.

"You might ask was that disappointing? Yes it was. But such was the nature of this whole issue that it was important that we had it resolved, particularly before the players returned tomorrow.

"I wasn't in a position to speak to him directly."

The Broncos' decision ended Bennett's 25-season reign with Brisbane. The seven-time premiership coach was immediately replaced with Seibold.

Sunday's sensational move finally ends a month-long standoff between the two parties and installs Seibold in Brisbane after he signed a contract with the club in October to take over from 2020.

The Broncos released a statement on the termination on the club website.

"The Brisbane Broncos Board has terminated coach Wayne Bennett's contract with immediate effect," the statement said.

"The terms of this termination are confidential.

"The Broncos thank him for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best in the future.

"An announcement about the club's coach for the 2019 season will be made soon.

"The Broncos would like to thank members, sponsors, corporate partners, players and staff for their patience and understanding through this period of transition."

Soon after, the Broncos announced Seibold would be the new Broncos coach.

"Anthony Seibold will join the Brisbane Broncos as coach effective immediately," the club said. "Seibold had already agreed to join the club as coach from 2020 onwards, but he will now coach for 2019 as well after the departure of Wayne Bennett.

"Seibold has been granted an immediate release by South Sydney, and will be at the Broncos tomorrow for the first day of preseason training with the full squad in attendance.

"The Broncos would again like to thank members, sponsors, corporate partners, players and staff for their patience and understanding through this period of transition."

The incredible developments follow 68-year-old Bennett's bitter falling out with Brisbane powerbrokers when he could not secure a further term with the Broncos beyond his contract, which had been due to expire after 2019.

With both men signed to swap clubs from 2020, their positions appeared untenable for 2019 but Bennett stubbornly clung on, insisting he was going nowhere.

He announced at a press conference on Friday he was planning to stay in Brisbane, a revelation which shocked the Broncos.

Bennett's address to the media came just hours before Brisbane was believed to have organised a press conference to welcome Seibold to the role.

The decision to axe Bennett came soon after Seibold launched a stunning spray at the veteran coach on the weekend, accusing him of reaching out to Souths players and interfering in the football program before he'd even arrived at Redfern.

"I have had a gutful. I've been sitting here for four weeks and feeling like a punching bag. It's not acceptable and it's not fair," Seibold told The Daily Telegraph.

The reigning NRL coach of the year said the saga had taken a toll on his young family and pointed the finger firmly at Bennett for "playing games".

Bennett had previously denied any contact with South players during but Seibold said the veteran coach had rung Damien Cook, Alex Johnston and Sam Burgess about his plans for the Redfern club.

The bombshell allegations gave Brisbane no choice but to terminate Bennett's contract a year early. It has been reported he will not receive the $1 million payout he was set for had the Broncos sacked him without cause ahead of season 2019.

Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson said it was good to have Bennett on board with the Bunnies while the new coach also issued a statement about his excitement at joining the Rabbitohs on a three-year agreement starting this year.

"I'm really pleased it's all resolved and that I can join this great Club with a free mind, knowing I did the right thing by the fans, staff and players," Bennett said.

"I'm really looking forward to being at South Sydney and working with the players, staff, Board and all of the Members.

"It's a wonderful Club, South Sydney, and I feel privileged to have the chance to coach this team."

- with AAP