Former Wakefield coach Brian Smith has spoken out for the first time since his sudden departure from the Wildcats to claim that costs were cut to the bone during his time at the club.
Wakefield chairman Michael Carter revealed at a press conference on Wednesday that he had experienced a frosty relationship with the 61-year-old veteran former Sydney Roosters, Newcastle and Parramatta coach since Christmas but insisted he backed Smith “to the hilt”.
Smith, who had been in charge for nine months and rescued the club from relegation in 2015, walked out just five matches into the new season and was on Thursday travelling to London to catch a flight back to Sydney.
Before he set off, the former Hull and Bradford boss posted a message on Facebook warning of potential serious problems ahead for Wakefield.
“For those who want to know, I am on my way home to Oz,” he said.
“My own health, my family and those two lovely grandkids matter most to me.
“Others may not understand but heading the coaching part of a footy club where costs are cut to the bone takes a huge commitment and loads of energy.
“All coaches at every level count on support of all kinds to get the job done. That’s when it’s really fun and amazing things can happen – it happened at Hull FC and wow it happened at Bradford Bulls too.
“Lots of people said very nice things about me then but the truth was it was the belief and commitment of the whole place that led to great successes.
“You people who love WTW (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) or are just footy lovers need to react before it’s too late for a great old club.
“Yes I believe it’s that serious.”
Warrington coach Tony Smith says his older brother is happy with his decision.
“It took me by surprise but at the same time, knowing a little bit about things, I was not surprised,” said the former Leeds and England boss. “I know my brother is experienced enough and wise enough to know when things aren’t right.
“If things are frosty to the point where communication isn’t coming between two senior people within a club, it’s not a great recipe for success and I think he recognised that and took action.
“I think they’ve improved enormously from where they were last year. The fact that he felt things aren’t improving enough in enough areas probably says a whole lot, because wherever he’s gone he’s been able to turn teams around and leave them in a better state.
“I think he’s left them in a better state.”