Maguire will be given a 12-month payout worth about $750,000 if the club elects to scrap his new deal.
The Tigers have put a freeze on all recruitment and retention until they make a decision on the coach, despite having $1.6 million to spend on four players for next year’s roster, which could include approaches to Tariq Sims and Adam Elliott. They also have to make calls on Maguire’s assistants, Wayne Collins and Shane Millard.
Penrith assistant Cameron Ciraldo looms as the frontrunner for the Tigers job if they part ways with Maguire, but he won’t even consider any interest until last year’s grand finalists’ premiership campaign is over. The Panthers will face minor premiers Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon for a spot in this year’s decider.
Senior Tigers players such as James Tamou and Luciano Leilua have publicly supported Maguire since their final-round drubbing, which prompted the coach to insist he is still the man to revive the embattled club.
But that will ultimately be the call of the Tigers board, which has watched the NRL side slip from ninth in 2019 to 11th in 2020 and then 13th this year under Maguire’s watch, before a promising batch of juniors are ready for the top grade.
Despite not having made the finals for a decade, the Tigers are in a strong financial position and have spent $2 million more on the football department than during Jason Taylor’s final season in 2017.
The $75 million centre of excellence at Concord will open in February or March next year. But who will be the coach to have first use of the facility is still up in the air.
UK Super League stars Jackson Hastings and Oliver Gildart are the only confirmed arrivals at Concord next year, as the club finally starts to balance its salary cap following the early release of Moses Mbye to the Dragons and the retirement of Russell Packer.