North Melbourne are “on the box seat” to land Alastair Clarkson, with the four-time premiership coach “going all-in” to try. Seven reported.
Clarkson, who spent most of his career at Arden Street, including 93 games in the 1987-95 seasons, is reportedly seeking $1.6 million a year in his next contract.
That dwarfs the salaries of current top coaches. In the year With a soft cap set for $6,950,000 in 2023, that means the Kangaroos will spend 23 percent of their total budget on Clarkson, reducing their talent around him.
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For comparison, Sydney’s John Longmire is estimated to cost between $1m and $1.2m, Richmond’s triple premiership coach Damian Hardwick is estimated to cost between $900k and $1.1m, and West Coast’s Adam Simpson is estimated to cost between $800k and $900k.
Clarkson’s intentions are not yet known, but the Kangaroos are focused on landing the former Hawks boss after parting ways with David Noble in recent weeks.
The other team with a coaching vacancy, GSS, is said to be in the midst of an intensive process and could potentially save $1 million a year if they choose an untested assistant instead.
“One club will move quickly on Clarkson, and it’s the Kangaroos,” Tom Brown said on Seven News.
“Tonight I’m told North is fully into the Premiership coaching, the Kangaroos are now in the box seat.
“The Giants are good at this. GWS is committed to a thorough process and interviewing a diverse range of candidates.
“Clarkson’s asking price is up to $1.6 million per season… The Giants could land Adam Yeezy or Adam Kingsley, for example, for a third of that price.
“The other reason for Clarkson is the soft cap. If North keep Clarkson, it means spending up to 23 per cent of their reserved football budget on one man – that could be worth it.”
North Melbourne held a board meeting on Wednesday with President Sonja Hood.
Geoff Walsh presented the results of the review at a meeting with the club.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan was asked on Tuesday night’s edition of AFL 360 whether he had spoken to Clarkson about the possibility of landing at North Melbourne.
“If I talk to him about specifics, I don’t think it’s my place to talk about it,” McLachlan said on Fox Footy.
“I think it’s accepted that Alastair wants to coach next year – I think I’m saying things that are understood – and he’s a good coach. The rest is up to him and the clubs looking to coach.
“If people think I’m going to have any conversation – it’s not a yes or no – I’m not just talking about private conversations.”
Asked if he and the league would “plant” Clarkson on Arden Street, he said, “It’s not my decision. They go through a process and find the best coach they can.”
“I mean, if Alastor was found, they’d take him.
Clarko comes with his own unique challenges – he knows it and I know it – but he’s a brilliant coach and I’m sure clubs looking for a coach will want him.
Clarkson praised the Kangaroos’ emerging talent on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 Extra in May.
“Some will train the North? Yes, yes,” he said.