Tim Sheens is expected to take a pay cut if he accepts a new undefined role at Wests Tigers after the club yesterday confirmed it would appoint a new coach for next season.
Officials praised his contribution to the club during his 10-year reign and the Herald was told they genuinely believed he still had something to offer but it was felt the players needed to hear a different voice.
A sub-committee has been formed to find a new coach and they have a long list of potential candidates to consider but former assistant Peter Gentle told the Herald last night that he would not be returning from Super League after signing a new contract with Hull FC.
Gentle had been a preferred choice among some on the Western Suburbs side of the joint venture, along with Sydney Roosters under-20s coach and former South Sydney mentor Jason Taylor - a Magpies junior.
Manly assistant Matt Parish, who has worked alongside Ricky Stuart with NSW for the past two seasons, also has support from some officials with Balmain connections, while Michael Potter is likely to be considered after turning down the Bradford job to return home last week.
Other names mentioned include Tigers assistant Steve Georgallis, Melbourne assistants Kevin Walters and Dean Pay, Canterbury assistant Jim Dymock and former Penrith coach Matthew Elliott.
Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys denied reports the club had already spoken to former St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown, who has signed a lucrative three-year deal with St Helens.
Humphreys and Tigers chairman David Trodden fronted a press conference yesterday to announce the change in direction after a board meeting to consider a review of the club's football operations.
The board decided to restructure the coaching set up and the positions of Georgallis, Sheens's long time offsider Bryan Hider, recruitment manager Warren McDonnell, strength and conditioning coach John Skandalis and physiotherapist Andrew Leeds will all come under review.
While the Tigers are unable to afford a $900,000 payout of the remaining two years of Sheens contract, the Herald was told he would be expected to take a pay cut in his new job and the savings would go towards paying for a replacement.
Some support staff may also be cut to help pay for the new coach. Humphreys said Sheens was ''disappointed'' when told of the decision and he was yet to decide whether to accept a new role or leave.
The decision now puts the onus on Sheens to make the next move and some at the Tigers hope he will throw his hat in the ring for the vacant Warriors job.
Despite constant speculation, the Herald has been repeatedly told that Sheens was not keen on the role and Storm assistant David Kidwell yesterday emerged as a new favourite for the job after Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney advised the club he was no longer interested.
Kearney, Morgan and Elliott are understood to have had second interviews for the Warriors job last week but Kidwell and former Warriors and Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson have now been touted as contenders for the job.
If Sheens was to take up the Warriors role, it would relieve the Tigers of the financial burden of having to pay him but Humphreys and Trodden made it clear the man who steered the club to their only NRL title in 2005 still had respect at Concord.
''All of us at Wests Tigers including all of the players and the senior players have nothing but the highest regard for Tim,'' Humphreys said.
''There are lots of roles in our club that may or may not involve being around the NRL squad.''
- Sydney Morning Herald