Not a powerhouse.
So who is a powerhouse? Broncos, Storm, Roosters (despite having no fans). Souths would be next in line. From memory they have the second most members, the backing of Russell Crowe, one of the strongest brands in RL, and have had recent success on the field. Who do reckon Bennett would be more likely to coach - us or them? Pretty obvious answer IMO
Yes those 3 teams are powerhouses. Broncos have massively bigger crowds, finances and advertising clout than any club in the league, by some considerable margin. Roosters unfortunately won the comp, regularly finish near the top and have unparalleled financially- and politically-minded stewardship. Storm have unmatched on-field success - they win 2 of every 3 matches they play and have sustained that for 20 seasons.
Souths are doing just fine, but not close to any of those 3 clubs. In the NRL era they’ve made the finals 6/19 times (32%), won 1 comp, collected 3 wooden spoons, got punted and readmitted. This season they were one match from the GF but previous two seasons came 12th and punted their coach.
I mean I don’t know how you can consider Rabbits a powerhouse when Broncos are weeks away from nabbing their coach. That’s REAL pulling power there.
Now if your sole argument is comparing other clubs to Wests Tigers, and calling every club better than us “a powerhouse”, then sure, you got me, there are some 12 powerhouse clubs in the NRL. It’s literally like watching the Champions League, so many powerhouses every week.
I’m not arguing who Bennett may or may not want to coach. Who the hell knows what is in that man’s mind?
You’re going back too far in your analysis in my opinion. The game has changed significantly in the last 10 years, let alone the last 20 years. The biggest change that has further shifted the balance of power to a few clubs is the introduction of TPAs. The teams that have access to loads of them are the powerhouses, those that don’t are the battlers. Souths would be #4 in that category behind the 3 clubs discussed. In the 7 season since 2012, Souths have made the playoffs 5 times, 4 of those in the top 4. I don’t need to remind you of the tigers record of that same period. Powerhouse or not, there is a BIG difference in the clout of the Rabbitohs and the Tigers