Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Chairman Scott Penn says the decision to terminate Geoff Toovey’s coaching contract at the end of this season was one made with a ‘heavy heart’.

Although contracted as Head Coach for 2016, the club has decided to honour Toovey’s contract in full until the end of next season in recognition of his legacy to the Sea Eagles for almost three decades.

Penn said it was a difficult decision but one made in the best interest of the club’s future.

“Geoff is a legend of the club, a life member and one of our longest serving players. It is obviously an emotional time for our fans and for our players,’’ Penn said.

“As a club, we are a results driven business. We live and die by our results on the field. 2015 has not been a season we are used to. The thought of potentially missing the finals after Ten years of consecutive Final appearances is not a place we want to be as a Club.   

“This year we have been conscious of making decisions based on our results. Ten weeks ago, we were on the bottom of the ladder, both of our halves were leaving, and we didn’t have a lot of hope for the future.

“I had a frank conversation with Geoff in March to say we are going to be watching results closely this year. We don’t want to make any rash decisions but if the team is not performing as we want to, you and I are going to have to have a tough conversation. Unfortunately, we have had that tough conversation.”

Penn said the club had undertaken an exhaustive process to make sure the right processes were in place for 2016 and beyond, to ensure the Club were once again Premiership contenders.

He said the board decided to give Geoff time to hopefully turn the team’s performance around without making a ‘rash decision’ 10-12 weeks ago.

“There have been a lot of changes behind the scenes. We bought in some advisors to help with that process and what that has done has given us hope for the future,’’ Penn said.

“We have signed a number of marquee players for next year and we have a lot of hope around the club. The fact is we didn’t believe we had the best coaching structure in place at that point of time and we have decided to make some significant changes for 2016.”