So we have lost in a match that we thought we had the possibility of winning and now there are those who want to get rid of the coach, get rid of the Board, the administrators and get rid of some players. I don’t understand why these people feel that this will be the only way to make Carlton great again! So here’s a history lesson.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Carlton was found to have breached the AFL’s salary cap rules. They were fined $1million dollars, a fine that sent the club into financial difficulty. They were restricted in the 2002 AFL draft with their number 1, 2, 31 and 34 picks taken from them. All drafts in the 2003 pre-season were stripped from them. Their first and second-round draft picks in 2003 in the National Draft were taken. All this from a group on the Board who believed in the arrogance of their club, where they felt they could get away with the “under-the-table” payments.
In July 2007, during the season, Dennis Pagan was sacked and Brett Rattan took over as caretaker coach. He was then appointed as senior coach and his contract was until the end of 2009, where we reached the finals. His contract was then extended until the end of 2011, then extended until the end of 2013. Yet due to on-field inconsistencies, he was sacked at the end of the season and the then Board in its knee-jerk reaction appointed Mick Malthouse as the coach on 11th September 2012. The Board, then decided that due to his criticism of the club’s administrators and the way he went about coaching, and polarising the supporters, he was too ceremoniously sacked in May 2015, with John Barker taking the reins of a club that had so much turmoil in the past 20 years.
The new Board understood what was now required to get this club back to the top – CONSISTENCY, not only in its on-field pursuits but in its coaching staff and its administrators. It went through a rigorous plan to get a coach that they knew was going to be a long-term investment. They knew what had to be done to get this club back on top. They had to pick the right coach, the right assistant coaches, the right recruitment personnel and to then change the culture of the club both inside and out.
For the past three years, the club has a consistency in its coaching outlook and in its senior coach. The bringing in of SOS to now re-shape the playing list to what both he and Bolts wanted, began to take place. They have done this, and with a few more tweaks, the team will become a more consistent group both on and off the field.
The new Board has taken steps to ensure that consistency is what the club is endeavoring to do to ensure that the club becomes a major player again. Steven Trigg, while did a lot for the club, did not have the business background to take the club into what is now the new realm of AFL. Ensuring that it does not rely on Pokie machines for revenue; to make this club up in the top in terms of members, considering that we are the most supported clubs but does not transmit into memberships. Admittedly, the Board did not handle the Trigg issue successfully, they went into the same process of getting Bolts, to get the new CEO, even though everyone thought that Simon Lethlean was the only one to get the job.
So now there are those out there who want to do exactly what the club does not want, more knee-jerk reactions. They want to get rid of the Coach and they believe that getting someone in like Paul Roos will fix everything – it won’t and it’s laughable that some believe that another sacking of a coach will solve every problem at the club, which is, for the first time in its history, RE-BUILDING!
We have one of the youngest playing group, who have the least amount of senior play time. We have some more tweaking to do, not to mention that we have some top players out injured, but we have some amazing youngsters who with more game time, will get better and better, and play smarter and smarter.
Given the past 20 years of incredible instability, knee-jerk reactions, fines, loss of draft picks, let’s put things into a bit of perspective and know that the club is now, right now, on the right track to get Carlton great again. We are starting to see players who will become major stars of the game develop into these type of players. We will see the younger players gain more confidence in their playing ability as they have more senior game time.
Even though like everyone else, I was disappointed on Friday night, I know and understand the process it will now take to make Carlton great. So please, stop thinking that a re-build is an easy fix; stop trying to push forth typical Carlton knee-jerk reactions from the past. We look to the past to make our present better so that the future can be magnificent. It will happen, and if you don’t believe it, then go support another club, but don’t come back here when we start to rise.