They were flogged in Week 1, bounced back in Week 2, only to be flogged again last night, and now, Panthers Chairman Don Felitis has told coach Matthew Elliot that he has two months to reverse the clubs fortunes, or he is out as coach.
After meeting with Chairman Don Felitis, he told Elliott that the club would not act upon extending his contract with the club, until they see what happens after the next 2 months.
With a perceived financial instability in place coupled with the speculation in place about the Panthers coach, has the whole club divided on certain issues.
“What happens with the coach will depend on the performance of the team. We’re certainly not talking to anyone else,” Feltis said.
“We had Matty come to an executive meeting [last] week and he told us he’s quite happy with things, so we’ll see what happens over the next eight to 10 weeks.”
As they seek to work on the coaching dilemma, and get through it, Felitis says that a meeting has been set up between senior players and power-brokers, to discuss what the next moves should be.
“We’re being open and transparent with them,” Feltis said.
“Petero understands. I said to him, ‘This is Matty’s last year, he’s been here five years’. It’s like re-signing a player, you’re going to want to see how he plays.”
Despite rumours that a stand-off was imminent, Panthers Chief Executive Michael Leary denied such claims, but did admit that things were a bit frosty for the club at this time.
“There’s no problem at all there. We can’t understand where that keeps coming from,” Leary said.
After continual pressing about the coaching situation, Leary said:
“I’m not going to make any comment at all about our coaching situation.”
In Elliott’s favour however, he does possess a rather strong bond with the more senior players of the group, and they too have great respect for him.
“I don’t worry about my future. I’ve tried worrying about it in the past and it doesn’t help it,” Elliott said.
“My whole focus is remaining with the playing group. I’ll have a beer with Mick no problems, easy.
“Like any form of management we don’t agree on everything but that doesn’t mean there’s a rift. We just sometimes don’t agree on stuff.”
As they appear to be in financial trouble, though it won’t affect them immensely for the time being, some think that the lack of business in the ranks at Penrith may hurt them in the future.
“We’ll be welcoming questions from members at the AGM and I’ll be giving them open and transparent answers,” Feltis said.
“It’s still not satisfactory and I’ll be saying this to the members. We’re not happy with it, it’s unacceptable to us.
“Over the last 12 months we’ve had a major reconstruction of our executive management team.
“We’ve changed our CEO, chairman, chief financial officer, gaming manager, marketing manager and property manager.
“Any organisation that makes all those changes is always going to go through a period of uncertainty, confusion and a bit of a challenge.”