Queensland legend Wally Lewis has revealed a split has formed in the Broncos' playing group caused by jealousy and nastiness directed towards the NRL team's highest paid players.
Million-dollar Queenslander Anthony Milford has been in the firing line in recent weeks after the Broncos slumped to second-last on the competition ladder with five-straight losses.
And in the lead up to Saturday's clash with the Warriors on the Central Coast, Lewis claimed the fracture has leaked into the playing group.
"The spirit between the players suggesting that a number of them aren't real happy with the payments being given to some of the players and they're not really performing all that well," Lewis told 2GB radio.
"Anthony Milford's copped an absolute hammering from the general public and the media alike.
"He's a million-dollar man and they're just saying they're not getting too much out of it.
"It's easy to point the finger at the million-dollar man but it's pretty hard to do anything without support from your teammates.
"The one issue they can't deny is the mood is pretty bad in the club, that's a real indication that something needs to change."
Coming from the club's foundation captain, the comments are sure to sting considering the esteem in which The King is held in Queensland.
Last week's loss to the Gold Coast was a particularly low point with the team booed off the field at halftime by fans for the first time in the club's history.
Lewis said during his time as a Brisbane rugby league fan he has never experienced the level of bitterness stewing within a playing group; nor the anger from disappointed fans and former players.
"I've got to say, I've never seen anything like this in all my time as a football lover in Brisbane," he said.
"This is nasty, it's jealousy, it's an uncomfortable feeling for the players and quite unfairly we have had some players blamed a little bit more than others with the suggestion that it's the men that get the most money that should be producing the best.
"Well, that's right in a certain way, shape or form.
"But when you're out there, there's 13 players on the field to produce their best.
"It's not easy for these blokes to come up with an easy plan on how to fix things because they've never been through this previously."
Australian Associated Press