VIDEO: Bennett not going anywhere next season
UPDATE: The Broncos-Souths coaching saga has exploded after Wayne Bennett sensationally called his own press conference today to declare he is staying at Brisbane.
In dramatic scenes today at Red Hill, Bennett emerged from his office to announce he is digging his heels in and will not walk away from the final year of his Broncos contract in 2019.
Wayne Bennett confirmed that he will be staying at the Broncos for 2019 as promised.
"I've spoken to South Sydney ... I have a responsibility here," Bennett said.
"Players, staff that I work with, the fans, I felt I'd be letting them down if I went a year before I should.
"There's a lot of things going on behind the scenes there. You'll have to ask (South Sydney)."
He said his relationship was good with CEO Paul White and chairman Karl Morris.
"He's supported me all the way through," Bennett said of Morris.
"I think I've said things the way they were. I don't think I've criticised anybody.
"That's behind us, we're all moving on and we'll all be one."
"They knew my position, they knew I was going to make a decision again today that I've made 10 times before. This is the last time I'm making it.
"The drama hasn't been me. The drama has been everybody else. It's never come from me.
"Today the deadline for me was because the speculation was mounting and I was going back to training on Monday."
"The Souths move was never instigated by me. We never talked about '19.
"It started when I was overseas the '19 bit and I kind of got drawn into it. It's as simple as that.
"It's none of my doing.
"They've been outstanding South Sydney. Richo came to England to see me to talk about the contract ... I'm disappointed for them but I'll be there in 2020.
"I have no problems about next year and how I'll handle it. It's not an issue for me."
The bombshell has rocked Brisbane and Souths management, who have spent the past four days in delicate talks hoping to finalise a straight swap with Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold immediately.
The clubs had set a deadline of 5pm today and the key negotiators widely believed Bennett would succumb to pressure and finally agree to a swift transfer that would see him at Redfern this Monday.
EARLIER: THE Wayne Bennett saga continues with the Brisbane Broncos coach to hold a media conference on Friday morning.
Bennett summoned rugby league journalists to the club for 10am media conference but has been keeping reporters waiting. It has now been confirmed for 12pm Qld time (1pm AEDT).
Speculation has been mounting that Wayne Bennett and Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold will swap roles a year early after initially agreeing to take over at the respective clubs in 2020.
It will end an incredible era for Bennett at the Broncos although the last season has been the most tumultuous of his time at Red Hill.
The Broncos and Souths have until 5pm Friday to finalise the messy saga, with the Rabbitohs confident they will have Bennett calling the shots at Redfern next week.
Souths mentor Seibold could find himself in Broncos colours by Monday, finally drawing the curtain on the most toxic coaching drama in Brisbaneâ€™s 30-year history.
We will bring you the latest as and when it happens.