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Des Hasler, Manly, Scott Penn, dressing rooms, locked out, future, contract, 2023, player survey

The Sea Eagles are “slowly changing” from Des Hasler, says Paul Kent, who also revealed the coach locked Manly owner Scott Penn out of the dressing room on Friday night.

Manly lost their last seven games of the season, including a 21-20 loss to the Bulldogs, which put Hasler under pressure to keep his job.

Kent Hassler believes the wrangling talks with the Fulton family are important, but warns there are officials at the club who want to get rid of him.

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“It’s a terrible situation in Mali at the moment and all sorts of allegations are happening and the biggest one at the moment is between Des Hasler’s coach and the Fulton family,” Kent told NRL 360.

“(Bob Fulton’s sons) Scott and Christy Fulton are both involved with the club and Brett is leading the way. He spoke to Des yesterday when this story started to break and we’re not part of it, we have no problem as coaches.

“That said, I believe there is a movement at the club, and I don’t believe it’s the Fultons, I believe others are using Fulton as a decoy to get rid of Des Hassler in front of everyone. There’s no doubt the club is slowly turning towards him.

“The other night of the game, Des[Penn]came out of the dressing room. This is a very good standard for Des, Des likes a very strict dressing room… but Scott Penn owns the club.

Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler. Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Kent Hasler said he had plenty of experience in this area and pointed to his time coaching Canterbury between 2012 and 2017.

“He’s done it before, he’s done it in Canterbury and it’s rotting in Canterbury,” Kent said.

“The club authorities have slowly started to snowball towards Des. I think it started at Manly, I think Des will be fighting to keep his job next season.

Penn announced that Hasler has a job “as long as he wants” because of the Pride jersey saga earlier this season.

But that position looks set to change and Phil Rothfield has revealed the parties will meet for a “crisis meeting” on Thursday.

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“This is Tony Mestrove as the new CEO, Scott Penn as the owner and chairman and Des Hassler and George Mimis as the manager,” Rothfield said.

“They go into a room and try to destroy this. What they are telling Des is that you are no longer the managing director, the CEO, the leader of this football club. We want to give Tony Mestrov the new CEO control to run it.

“So Des needs to change his approach, take their advice on board and change his high performing staff.”

The panel agreed that Hassler would reluctantly agree to those terms because he has just one year left on his $800,000-a-year contract and must make the finals next season to trigger his 2024 option.

The panel also revealed that Manly players were asked to complete an anonymous survey on whether they supported manager Des Hassler.

Players were asked to respond as part of end-of-season evaluations, but Rothfield believes the survey was likely Hassler’s idea.

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