Ben Root’s manager has hit out at Essendon’s “fundamentally incorrect” handling of the Bombers coach and said the club’s handling of coaching talk over Alastair Clarkson this week was poor.
Essendon’s pursuit of Clarkson failed after Rutten’s Bombers decided to join North Melbourne, but he could coach the final game against Richmond on Saturday night or face an ugly end.
Speaking on RSN radio, TLA manager Adam Ramanuskas joined the chorus of opposition to the treatment of Rutten, who is contracted for next season.
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“I think it’s very unfortunate the way it turned out. You have to see the human side … his behavior and the way he was treated is fundamentally wrong,” Ramanauskas said.
“Whether it’s Ben Root or any other top coach, we have to understand that there are only 18 of these jobs in the country, it’s a very high-pressure job. How you handle these individuals is critical to the success of your football club.
“I think the way and the way they were handled was poor.”
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New Bombers president David Barham took over from Paul Brasher amid last week’s turmoil at the Tullamarine club and is due to address the media on Friday ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Richmond.
Meanwhile, Rutten is expected to face the media for his weekly Friday press conference after a busy week, including an apparent meeting with Barham at his Mount Macedon property.
“There has to be a clear communication, and that comes from the senior leadership at the football club. Ben is still under contract, Ben still has 12 months left on his contract, but the club has made it clear that they are talking to another senior coach,” Ramanuskas added.
“Three weeks ago they officially announced that he was their coach. I’m not sure how it’s fair to treat someone this way.
“A lot of people say, ‘The club should be brutal’ – that’s fine, but if you want to go that way, talk to people. Make a clear plan.
Asked how Ruth was getting on in the ugly saga, Ramanuskas said: “It’s fair to say Monday and probably half of Tuesday were the hardest days because nobody told him what was going on.”
“He was reading on Monday that he was fired. There was no one else to tell him, making it very difficult for anyone to enter.
“He was calling a lot of people and didn’t get a lot of response at that stage.
“That’s what I’m talking about – the relationship and the nature of the club – they have to line up.”
Ramanuskas said at no point did Rutten intend to leave the club “because of his responsibility to the players and to win this week’s game” and that he was under contract and that reports of his squad being lost were “absolutely incorrect”.
And he said he might coach Ruth at the club next year.
“Absolutely he can, and I think that depends on the players’ support, that’s first and foremost. “If we had lost the players, that would have been very difficult,” he said.
“The relationship needs to be fixed, there’s no doubt about that, but I think there’s still a chance he can coach the Essendon Football Club.”
Clarkson broke his silence on the coaching saga on Thursday, calling the situation “disgraceful”.
Clarkson told Channel 10 on Thursday night: “To be fair, it’s a shame to be the main person in all of this.
“You know, I have a lot of respect for the three guys involved in their clubs, you know Spike McVeigh, Truck Rutten and Patch Adams are all terrific guys and they’re trying to do the right things in their clubs.
“Especially with the situation around the track, you know he’s still got a year left on his contract and it’s a shame to be the center of attention in a situation that’s very difficult for him and the club.
“I’d rather be able to get off the back burner and if I can make a decision one way or the other I know very well that this circus will end.
“So the sooner I can do it, the better.”