THE review into Wests Tigers' failings this season will be completed today and presented to an extraordinary board meeting tonight, by which time it is expected coach Tim Sheens's decade-long reign at the club will be ended.
While the finer points of Sheens's impending exit are still to be determined, the fallout from the departures of the popular Chris Heighington and Beau Ryan, which have led to player unrest after a disappointing season, are likely to result in the 10-member board confirming that the veteran will not be head coach next season.
There are still manoeuvrings taking place behind the scenes, including the finalisation of a payout figure for Sheens, who is contracted until the end of 2014.
Some on the board remain hopeful that Sheens could remain as a coaching director, but it is believed he opposes that. That means a severance package will have to be formalised, knowing that the Tigers' hopes that Sheens might be able to resume his NRL career at the Warriors have all but evaporated. Negotiations over a payout have been ongoing. Sheens's contract is worth $450,000 a season.
Sheens's position was placed on hold at a scheduled board meeting last Thursday night. Chief executive Stephen Humphreys said afterwards that a decision regarding Sheens's position would not be made until a review was completed. That review will be finalised today and handed to the board.
It is yet to be determined whether Sheens will address tonight's meeting personally, with further talks between the coach and officials scheduled before the board convenes.
NSW assistant coach Matt Parish has been linked to the club, along with Tigers assistant Steve Georgallis and former St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown.
Sheens has lost the support of Tigers players and influential factions within the club. Balmain great Ben Elias has made it clear he supports a change of direction.
Elias said on ABC radio yesterday that the Tigers had Ricky Stuart ''ready to go'' had Sheens opted to take up an offer from Penrith last year, although Tigers officials denied that last night. Subsequently, Sheens signed a three-year deal with the club he coached to a premiership in 2005.
''We had another coach in the shadows ready to go,'' Elias said. ''Ricky Stuart was going to coach the Tigers if [Sheens] hadn't signed. He decided to coach, and we came to an agreement of three years. That situation, obviously, we continued for the next 12 months, and here we are today.''
The upheaval at the Tigers has resulted in halfback Benji Marshall expressing his dismay in yesterday's The Sun-Herald at the departures of Heighington and Ryan to Cronulla, while there is also increasing uncertainty over the future of captain Robbie Farah, who is off contract at the end of next season.