Brisbane Broncos founder Barry Maranta has offered a damning assessment of the fallen NRL power-club, claiming that the club has ignored his offers to help.
It was under Maranta’s guidance that the Broncos established themselves as one of the powerhouses in rugby league, but the club has fallen by the wayside in recent years.
Tipped to be a top-four team by many, the Broncos have lost six consecutive matches, and the 85-year-old admitted that he was left “puzzled” by his beloved club’s downfall.
Maranta said that the club had lost its original identity, and lamented why it would not heed the advice of experienced heads such as himself and former administrators Chris Johns and John Ribot.
“I’ve tried to get the message across,” he revealed to 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.
“There are people like John Ribot, Chris Johns, Shane Edwards, there’s a lot of people that want to help, but for some reason there’s a feeling that we’re all persona non-grata.
“We’re not necessarily recognised as being able to help. Now perhaps they’ve got very good reasons for coming to that conclusion, but it’s disappointing that it’s a bit of a them versus us stage, when it should be something you’re all in together because this is when it is tough.
“We hoped that we gave some longevity to what we’d created, but clearly I’m puzzled as to exactly what the Broncos of today stand for and that disappoints me.”
The revelation of the club’s cold response to its founder comes after greats Gorden Tallis and Glenn Lazarus slammed the club saying that they were no longer welcomed at the club, a fact that Maranta could not fathom.
“That’s incredible. It’s just not what you expect,” he said.
“You just think it’s one big family. We ran it like a family like Peter Moore did at Canterbury and Nick Politis is doing at the Roosters.
“I look at those clubs now and just see the characteristics that they’re reflecting and think it’s disappointing that it’s not the case here.”
According to Maranta, the main on-field issue for Anthony Seibold’s team is a lack of experienced players to surround its fledgling stars with.
“I look at the team now and there’s certainly no experience. When you get rid of McGuire and McCullough, and how they’d ever let Jai Arrow go, I’ve got no idea,” he said.
“These are your three 80-minute players and you bring in young kids and it’s a bit difficult to watch it and see that there’s no balance there at all and that’s what makes it hard.
“How you rectify that, I have no idea, it is a massive challenge and good luck to them because it is so difficult.”
Maranta also lamented the lack of Queensland representatives in the current Broncos squad, saying it was a staple of the team under his tenure.
“We were predominantly picking Queenslanders because that was our calling card which people identified with,” he said.
“No one liked us from over the border, but that was what we tried to create.
“We had other benchmarks, for example we were a great believer in the idea that we were actually acting as parents for kids that were coming down from the country.
“We wanted to make sure that in the whole front office, we invested heavily to make sure that we looked after the youngsters that came down, because they were then our responsibility.
“We made it a whole trademark of ours that what the Broncos were was a team that Queenslanders could identify with.”