Matt Parish has quit and returned to Australia less than six months into a three-year contract as coach of Salford after several differences of opinion with the club's director of football, Steve Simms. He is now expected to take up the role of assistant coach to Geoff Toovey at the Australian champions, Manly.
Parish was appointed in June, after Shaun McRae's resignation through ill-health. The Reds won only one of six games under Parish during the rest of the season and he expressed doubts about the direction of the club.
His departure leaves them with little time to find a new coach before the start of pre-season training and the eagerly awaited move into their new stadium at Barton.
The immediate responsibility will fall on Parish's assistant and caretaker coach for part of last season, Phil Veivers, and Sean Long, recently appointed to the coaching staff after calling time on his distinguished playing career.
Parish's exit route has been opened up by the turmoil at Manly. They won the NRL Grand Final, but were then rocked by the determination to leave of their coach, Des Hasler, who is taking over at Canterbury and taking much of his back-room staff with him.
The England coach, Steve McNamara, has named a 21-man squad for the Four Nations final, adding Gareth Ellis, Carl Ablett, Ryan Bailey and Danny McGuire to the 17 who beat New Zealand. Australia's Tim Sheens has also named 21, including the previously suspended Tony Williams.