Newcastle Knights coach Wayne Bennett has decided to conclude his tenure at the Club at season's end.
Bennett, who was originally contracted until 2015, became a free agent following recent ownership changes at the Club.
The veteran coach has made this decision based on a number of reasons.
"First and foremost, I am not comfortable with the performance of the team over the three years and I take full responsibility for that," Bennett explained.
“While we have been faced with many challenges, the Club is heading in the right direction and I have confidence in the structures now in place.
"I believe it will take a number of years to reach an acceptable position and that is what I am unable to commit to. A longer term coach is crucial for future success.”
Bennett informed the playing group and staff this morning. He plans to continue coaching but hasn't commenced discussions with any other Club.
"It goes without saying I will thank the Members and fans of this proud Club at the appropriate time," Bennett added.
Knights CEO Matt Gidley is disappointed to lose Bennett but understands his decision.
"Wayne has made this decision because he believes it is what is best for the Club," Gidley said.
"Wayne's experience has been invaluable, particularly during our challenging periods."
The Club will commence the process for Bennett's replacement.