“[I’m] One hundred per cent committed,” Barrett told the Herald. “[Bulldogs CEO] Andrew Hill and the board have been nothing but supportive and very professional.
“I’m all in and looking forward to it.”
Barrett’s manager, Wayne Beavis, also reiterated that Barrett was “one million per cent” committed to the role.
“It’s never been an issue,” Beavis said.
Gould, however, warned Barrett that he was better off opting out of the Bulldogs job.
“I’m sure that Trent Barrett doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into and if I was associated with Trent Barrett in any way, shape or form I think I’d be advising him to reconsider his decision,” Gould told Nine’s 100% Footy.
“I just think this is going to deteriorate into a real mess in the coming weeks, and I just can’t see a way out,” Gould said.
“I think it’s just too much for him to take on at this time, given what happened to him at Manly, and given that his next NRL appointment is very, very important.
“He’s in a really good club at the moment at the Panthers, he’s got a great role and is doing a tremendous job. I’d be nearly inclined to decline it and go back to where he is and just wait a little bit more time because the Bulldogs is an absolute mess. Behind the scenes it is a toxic mess.”
The relationship between Bulldogs chairman Lynne Anderson and Canterbury Leagues Club chairman George Coorey has deteriorated, sparking fears of unrest at Belmore. Coorey, 61, has been the subject of complaints by several women who have alleged he made inappropriate comments to them. Fellow board members have called for him to at least stand down while there is an inquiry, however his backers say he has nothing to answer for and have turned their anger towards Anderson, to whom the complaints were first made.
In a joint letter to members, Anderson and Hill said that leagues club funding had ceased providing the football club its monthly grants in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“It is fantastic to be able to report that the football club has come through an incredibly challenging COVID-19 period in a strong position, and are on target to post a healthy profit on our 2020 profit and loss,” Hill and Anderson said in the letter.
“In what has been a tough challenge for all businesses, we have managed to navigate the landscape through early action, careful planning and budgetary constraint to protect the long-term viability of the club.
“It needs to be stated that our monthly grant from the Canterbury League Club stopped in March by mutual decision. The League Club stopped trading at that point and had to undergo its own operational review.
“Both clubs have worked closely together through these challenging times, and are stronger for it. This meant that as a football club we have had to operate with no grant in recent months, so it is great to be able to report that we are on track for a surplus this year, despite the challenging situation we found ourselves in.”
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Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.
Chris Barrett is Chief Sports Reporter of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.