Embattled former footy coach Anthony Seibold has shut down claims the wife of a former Brisbane Broncos figure is behind a vile smear campaign about his personal life – as reports emerge he could be set to land a new job in the NRL.
The ex-$800,000-per-year coach quit the side on Wednesday just two years into his five-year deal after the club recorded their worst-ever season in 2020 with just one win from 13 games.
Seibold’s resignation followed him employing a European cyber-security firm to trace false rumours about his personal life being circulated by social media posts and text messages.
On Thursday, the 45-year-old was asked by Channel 9 sports reporter Danny Weidler to confirm whether the wife of someone who previously had ties with the Broncos was behind the malicious rumours.
Weidler said the woman was ‘a long way from being a household name’, despite earlier reports suggesting the source of the rumours was a ‘well-known figure’.
But Seibold was quick to shut down the suggestion, revealing the source of the slander was not ‘someone of profile’.
‘All of that talk is wrong. I’ve only just got out of the bubble and seen my lawyer and it’s not the name you have put to me,’ he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Seibold’s legal team have given a list of names compiled by the cyber-security experts to the NRL integrity unit.
The integrity unit will reportedly have 14 days to act on the evidence before it is handed over to Queensland Police.
Seibold is expected to take legal action within a week, while one prominent figure has already sought advice to prevent their name from being made public, according to The Australian.
The salacious comments began after Seibold opted to stay in NSW following his team’s loss to South Sydney on August 7.
The 45-year-old meanwhile has been linked to a new job in the NRL just days after walking away from the Broncos.
He has reportedly been in discussions with Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien.
O’Brien is an old friend and colleague of Seibold’s from their time together at the Melbourne Storm and footy star Cooper Cronk said the olive branch was a case of a ‘mate looking out for a mate’.
‘Anthony Seibold has been through the wringer over the last 18 months at the Broncos,’ he told Fox League. ‘But the coach I knew at Melbourne Storm for three or four years was a very good coach.’
‘I think Adam O’Brien knows that side of him as well.’
O’Brien said though he had not actually offered a job to Seibold and only wants to check-in on him during a tumultuous period of his life.
Seibold took responsibility for the Broncos’ horror season on and off the field, which will miss the finals for the first time since the club began in 1988.
He left the club with a 34 per cent winning percentage, the worst of any coach in Brisbane’s history.
He acknowledged his side’s ‘tremendous’ start to the season with two wins from their first two games before the NRL season was disrupted due to coronavirus.
The Broncos have failed to recover from the two-month lay-off with just one win since the season resumed in May.
‘I thought it worked for 14 or 15 months,’ Seibold said.
‘Where didn’t it work? It hasn’t worked since COVID.
‘After COVID, we’ve struggled to handle the bubble, but other teams have had to handle it too. I can’t put my finger on it.’
Seibold declined to answer when asked if his players lacked professionalism.