NRL news | Parramatta Eels rift, Brad Arthur vs Mark O’Neill

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The Parramatta Eels are contending with a significant rift between coach Brad Arthur and general manager of football Mark O’Neill, a new report reveals.

Nine NRL reporter Danny Weidler, writing in his Sun Herald column, said that Parramatta’s disappointing exit from the NRL finals had further exposed divisions in the club.

“The core of the problem is the division between O’Neill and the coach, but the cracks at the club are threatening to grow. The players and the football department are on one side; O’Neill is on the other, with the support of the club’s executive,” Weidler wrote.

Arthur has been criticised for being too old-school, with doubt that he can deliver the Eels an elusive premiership to end their 34-year wait. O’Neill is the man pushing for a change in the team’s methods, after a third-placed finish was followed by yet another finals failure.

Meanwhile, O’Neill and his football department have been branded “too bureaucratic” and a nightmare to deal with in player negotiations; an issue seen even as the club re-signed captain Clint Gutherson last year.