Wests Tigers CEO Grant Mayer deserves some tough questions from the new board
Let’s hope the new Wests Tigers board ask Grant Mayer some tough questions on Wednesday.
This is the man new Tigers Chairwoman Marina Go admits will be charged with the authority to kick the chair from under Mick Potter’s legs after having the coach’s head tied to a noose for the past two seasons.
As Chief Executive, Mayer ruled over this rabble during the most explosive and divided period in the joint venture’s history.
Now, apparently, he will on Wednesday make a recommendation on why Potter should be sacked.
Throughout his period as coach Potter has had little, if any, input into player retention.
He never even got to choose his coaching assistants.
This might not seem like a big deal from outside but any NRL head coach will tell you that loyalty just might be the most important asset you can have.
Mick Potter never had this.
Throughout his tenure his assistant’s Todd Payten and David Kidwell made no secret of their desire to have Potter’s job.
As a result, this undermined the coach’s authority within the playing group.
From almost the get-go there were rumours, coming out of the club, that Potter’s position was under threat.
Potter finally admitted as much following last weekend’s final game, that he had been coaching with his hands tied behind his back. But what if he had full support?
When Wayne Bennett was in his early years at Brisbane, he had a chairman called Paul Morgan.
In those early years Bennett too was a dead man walking, given he didn’t have the backing of the club’s most powerful player Wally Lewis.
But he had Porky’s support, and that proved crucial. The chairman made a tough decision, to
let Lewis go and keep Bennett. The rest, as they say, is history.
This year Mayer brought in Brian Smith to do a mid-season review of the club’s coaching structures, which could only have one conclusion.
Yet despite this Potter defied the undermining to have the Tigers in contention for the finals until that fateful board meeting in July that was publicly leaked before the crucial game against St George Illawarra.
The Tigers went on to lose six straight after that before their final round win over Cronulla.
Mick Potter is not to blame for how the Tigers’ season finished — but someone is.
Let’s hope the new board works out who before they make a final decision on who will coach the Tigers in 2015.