North Melbourne bosses are “absolutely furious” at a suggestion from Essendon icon-turned-board member Kevin Sheedy that Alastair Clarkson could take the Kangaroos to Tasmania.
As North and Essendon engage in an uphill battle for the services of the four-time premiership winner, Sheedy spoke to FIVEaa radio in South Australia to suggest Clarkson would be a perfect fit for Arden Street, in what was seen as a flippant comment towards the Roos.
“I think Clarkson would be perfect for North Melbourne. I wouldn’t be surprised if he took them to Tasmania. It could be a huge move for him,” Sheedy said.
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According to Caroline Wilson of The Age, the comments did not go down well in North Melbourne.
“He’s lost the plot, Kevin. I don’t see if his role on the board is tenable after those comments,” she told Nine’s. Footy Ranked.
“You talk about quick fixes and little things that look good for the club. Putting Kevin on the board, to be brutal, was one of them. One of the greatest Essendonians of all time, but he didn’t not been a strong board member.
“He’s not supporting Ben Rutten, but then going on the radio and suggesting maybe another club should move to Tasmania…I don’t think that’s what a board member should do.
“The North Melbourne board are furious, Essendon are disappointed. It goes to instability around the football club.”
The comments also left former AFL manager Ross Lyon stunned, who suggested Sheedy resign from the Essendon board.
“Not only did he send North Melbourne to Tasmania, it flew in the face of David Barham, whom he crossed the floor to put in power,” he said. Footy Ranked.
“David Barham is clearly going after Alastair Clarkson, that board member who was the balance of power to support him, the next day on the radio anointed that coach to go to North Melbourne. What’s the order of the day?
“Can we dive into the internal review? (Simon) Madden was associated with it, (Sean) Wellman was associated with it (both former Essendon players) and Sheedy was associated with it. Then it comes out that (the head of the football) Josh Mahoney did it all on his own This faction almost needs to step down and go.
According to Wilson, Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell and head of football Mahoney both believe they are “a good selling point” for Clarkson as they feel they represent stability, despite having been criticized for problems with club culture.
Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd, who has expressed his hopes of seeing Clarkson land at the Hangar, has set club culture ablaze during Campbell’s reign.
“The culture is not good, there are a lot of unhappy people and it shows in the performance. I only want the best for the club,” he said. Footy Ranked.
“It needs to be reviewed by everyone at the top. The chairman (Paul Brasher) was reviewed and he was resigned. Then you have to review then the CEO and the decisions that were made and the culture within that department , then next up will be Ben Rutten and head of football, Josh Mahoney.
“You have to find good people in those four key areas and the rest will filter down from there, and I think that’s where you have to start.
“It’s politics and not a productive working environment. We haven’t been anywhere for so long and that’s where I’m happy and hope that (new chairman) David Barham gets it right.
“We’re going to see how strong (Barham) has to be. He has to stand up. There are always political animals in football clubs. He has to be strong here to see through this and do what’s best for him. Essendon Football Club.”
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Those familiar with Clarkson, especially his successor at Hawthorn, said the master coach would pick the club that represented the best stability, and Lloyd doubted it was Essendon at the moment.
“If Alastair is looking to make a decision on Friday, I don’t see how he chooses Essendon,” he said.
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“This is just the beginning with what happened with Paul Brasher.
“I don’t think the board had a say. I think with Xavier Campbell and Paul Brasher they’ve been dominant forces. That’s why David Barham got so frustrated and threatened to leave those last weeks.”
Clarkson is expected to make a decision on his next club by the end of the week.
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