I read a comment on social media that is succinct, direct and on point. The basic premise was that at Carlton, all members and supporters agree that a change is needed. However, that while change has occurred within the football department, at Board level, the issue is that those who have now stepped in still have links to those behind the scenes at the Carlton FC. So while there is a “change” in this respect, it is a change that is linked to the premise of “job for the boys/girls”. Excellent point and, well, spot on!
If you look at those who have been a part of the “change” at Board level, you have to see that nothing much has changed. You have a major sponsor of the club, Lincoln Indicators, while has done a lot for the club, is this seen as a “paid” Board appointee? Is the person there because of their financial influence? Are they there because the Board feel this person deserves it because of financial sponsorship? Is this the same scenario as previous Board appointees, being money talks?
Then there is a person who was appointed to the Board who comes from JP Morgan Australia. Again, this person’s background seems to be steeped in “jobs for the boys” because their ties with Luke Sayers. This person is the Australian Business & Community Network co-founder, and Sayers is a Council Member and Director of the same network. Again the questions have to be asked, was this person appointed because of this connection?
Another person appointed to the Board runs their own media company and has a direct link to those on the Board and past Board members. This person is also part of the group called Assembled, where Carlton ex-President Mark Loguidice is a Director and where Craig Matheson, current Board member, is also a Director. This person is a part of a business group called, Assembled. This group, if you look on their website, has as one of their clients the Carlton FC. Again, the question has to be asked, given the connections, were they appointed because of these connections?
An article was written that what is happening at the club is like A Game of Thrones plot and given the connections each protagonist has on the Board now, you have to think that each person is there because of a connection to each other and not because they could possibly be the best person to move this club forward.
Besides the appointment of Greg Williams, it seems that the changes made on the Board are those who have a connection not only to Luke Sayers but each other. Does this make it a change for the club’s good, or does it smell of not what you know but whom you know? The changes seem to be one where nothing much has changed, really. Those who are making the decisions at our club, and it is our club, the members, seem to be based along the line, of the same old principles not of diversity or the best talent to best serve the club and make cultural changes, but of those who have a historical or current tie-in with Luke Sayers.
Some have said that discord between what is happening now regarding the search for a senior coach and those who disagree with what has transpired over the months has hindered the possibility of acquiring one of the greatest coaches of the modern era- Alistair Clarkson. If you believe that, then look deeper. Why would Clarko come to a club with serious, very serious cultural issues far greater than the talented players at the club? Why would any senior coach want to go to a club that is so fractured that news is being leaked everywhere before members are informed? Where a Board announced a mid-season review not of the entire club, but only parts of it, instead of waiting until the end of the season? What does this say about any club, anywhere? Why would any coach want to come to a club that has gone through three coaches in the past ten years, two sacked mid-season and one knew mid-way through the season that his time was up? What does this say about how the club treats its people? What does this say about the culture of our club? Then you ask yourself, do you not think that two other coaches of our club, Brett Ratten and Brendon Bolton, would not have informed Clarko about the toxic culture at the club given how they were treated? Then seen how David Teague was then treated. He would have seen how the culture of this club has been fraught with a toxicity that just does not seem to end.
For any sporting club, anywhere in the world, culture is paramount to ensure consistency and the outside view of being a club of choice. A player will want to come to a club that, well, has its “shit together” off-field. It will be an attractive place for a player, a coach, and an administrator who wants to move clubs because they can see consistency, respect, encouragement, and progression in an environment that will make them a better player and person, making the team and the club better. Do we have that? Nope, and I believe that Clarko could see that. Why on earth would he even want to contemplate becoming part of a club with the club’s culture now?
Then the Board sought to get Ross Lyon. He arrogantly said that his thirteen years as a coach would be the only thing the club should consider. Would he be a good fit for the club? No! He has been out of the game since the end of 2019, and while this is not a long time between then and now, the game has changed, and it would beg the question, is his coaching style suitable for the game today? I don’t think so. Now he has come out and says he is taking himself out of the process. Why? He says after a few conversations with Sayers, after much thought, he withdrew.
So now the Board is in a quandary as they seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in its search for a suitable senior coach. It has dug a deep, smelly hole for itself that could have enormous ramifications for the club long-term. If the Board aimed to get Clarko, then the sacking of Teague has proven that he wants to go nowhere near this club that treats others with such disrespect and cavalier attitude of an arrogance that it now has.
Look at who is on the Board and where their connections lie and tell me that the change made is fresh and in-line to make the club one that every player, coach or administrator wants to continue their career. Because it is not, and until the members take back the club, away from the same old people who have taken this club to where it is today, total disarray, nothing will change.
We need fresh, well suited and experienced people on the Board who can turn this club around from the ground up and instill a culture that is admired and respected on every level. Changing board members for the same type and connected people do nothing to progress us forward. We need a change, a dramatic change, otherwise, in two years, we will be in the same position, and we could lose players in the team who just do not want to be a part of a toxic culture at a club that promotes respect, but does not act on that.
I am a member of the Carlton FC, and I insist my voice be heard. You should as well.
P.S There has been talk that we should all get over the sacking of Teague. The point that many cannot, is that it showed the true culture of a club, total lack of respect. So, for me, I cannot get over how the club handled it, and this in on the shoulders of the current members of the Board.