The Bulldogs’ power brokers are expected to hold emergency talks on Monday to discuss the team’s early-season performance and the future of coach Trent Barrett.
Canterbury officials are said to be frustrated and spent the weekend debating whether Barrett is still the club’s long-term boss, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The pressure was mounting on Barrett ahead of his side’s upset victory over the Roosters, but a poor performance against a struggling Knights side shone the spotlight on the club’s woes in 2022.
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Bulldogs officials will also interview director of football Phil Gould, asking if a return to Finals football is possible with Trent Barrett as coach.
Barrett could have last led his side after a 16-6 loss to Adam O’Brien’s Newcastle side.
“Trent Barrett is under tremendous pressure, there will be an emergency Bulldogs board meeting tomorrow with the suggestion that Barrett may have coached his last game,” Warren Smith said during Magic coverage Fox League Round.
“We saw Phil Gould here in the media center shortly before the kick-off between the Roosters and the Eels and his mood, it’s fair to say, was quite gloomy.
“Maybe a clue there, but big drama in Belmore.”
Club members have sent a wave of complaints to Canterbury-Bankstown administrators according to the SMH, with many suggesting it is time to let Barrett go.
The Fox League panel of experts spoke at the meeting and suggested that “the writing is on the wall”.
“It’s been an extremely difficult time for Trent Barrett and the Bulldogs, but the fact that there’s an emergency meeting probably suggests the writing is on the wall,” Corey Parker said.
“Otherwise why is there an emergency meeting, what are they going to meet about, if not about Trent Barrett’s future.
“It’s been a tough season for them but I don’t know if any other coach is making the most of what they’ve got, I’m not sure, they’ve played the Bulldogs for most games but they have really struggled to score points.
“They’re competing and they’re showing up, but there’s a lot of frustration going on there, the performance they put on the other night against the Knights was totally unacceptable in a lot of areas, and in a lot of areas that were just based on effort and not talent.
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The former Panthers assistant had no response at Friday night’s post-game press conference after dropping to a sad record of just five wins in 34 games.
It was just weeks ago that Phil Gould backed Barrett as the Bulldogs’ long-term coach, but now the decision may be out of his hands if the board decides he needs to tighten the ties.
“The fact that Phil Gould came out and said that, what does that mean, there’s a lot of instability around that,” Corey Parker said.
Many fans had a positive outlook heading into this season, with a number of top rookies, including Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr, ready to bring the cellar dwellers to life.
But now all optimism has faded and the Bulldogs won’t be out of options should they need a new coach.
Paul Green, Shane Flanagan and Cameron Ciraldo are the experienced options to take over, while Steve Price had a successful spell at Cronulla and Kristian Woolf was solid at St Helens.
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