A rivalry between two clubs is nearing its end for Alastair Clarkson: Essendon coach Ben Rutton’s exit is looming.
Clarkson’s manager James Henderson told Channel 9 on Wednesday that the super-coach is “moving very quickly towards a decision” – which is expected to be announced at the weekend.
Clarkson was initially thought to be a certainty to join Arden Street on a five-year deal before turmoil at the Bombers put Essendon on the radar for an 11th-hour bid.
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Speaking on Fox Football AFL 360, Co-host Mark Robinson revealed the Kangaroos held a board meeting on Wednesday with Plan B put on hold as the club moved in on Clarkson.
“At the end of the week, everybody knows whether Alastair Clarkson is coaching North Melbourne or Alastair Clarkson is coaching Essendon,” he said.
“(Clarkson’s decision) defines both of them for the next five, 10, 15 years.
He spent four weeks with North Melbourne. A four-day charge against Essendon is known. He did not exercise due diligence. There will be a lot of failure.”
Clarkson had advanced talks with the Kangaroos after meeting with the Tullamarine club earlier this year, but the giants ended the race for his services after it was reported that Clarkson had “strong interest” in the Bombers. .
“Eight weeks ago, we thought (Clarkson) was red-hot against Essendon. AFL 360 co-host Gerard Wylie said.
“I think North Melbourne will beat him (if he picks Essendon) because they’re so honest. It is entirely his choice.”
Robinson Referring to his playing days when the club beat Carlton’s Ian Aitken in the infamous Battle of Britain in 1987, Clarkson believes he “owes credit” to the Kangaroos.
“I think I owe it to the kangaroos. You get one life to live, and in that life you rely on other people and organization,” Robinson said.
“He’s relied on North Melbourne to help him at various times in his life. The incident in London, that was a terrible time… Essendon ignored him and North Melbourne said “Nah, come and play us, we’ll give you a chance”.
“That’s his life…you can’t forget that, you just can’t, and I’m sure he won’t.”
However, Whaley disagreed, saying the four-time Premiership boss’ decision should not be driven by external factors.
“He doesn’t owe the Kangaroos, it’s a romantic idea and if it comes to fruition it will be good… If he makes his choice as a favor to an old club, it’s the wrong move,” he said.
Wiley said he doesn’t believe there will be a difference in the money, but Robinson “I think there could be,” suggesting the Bombers’ offer would be more lucrative.
Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson described Essendon’s handling of Root as “one of football’s most embarrassing stories”, and Bombers coach David Barham visited his Mt Macdeon estate on Wednesday to discuss the club’s pursuit of Clarkson and his uncertain future.
“He (Rutten) hasn’t been sacked but there was a full and open conversation where David Baram was clear that Essendon was looking at Alastair Clarkson and beyond that you can’t really say what will happen,” she said. Channel 9 Leg assigned.
Wilson also reported that Root will be sacked as coach on Thursday – a report supported by former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire who is “firmly confident” assistant Daniel Gianciruka will be set to take over on Monday for Saturday night’s clash. With Richmond.
“My understanding is that the cuts will come tomorrow (Thursday), it’s unusual that it hasn’t happened yet.” “There is a suggestion that some players want to be coached by Daniel Giannisarakas on the weekend, I can’t say whether that will happen or not,” Wilson said.
“I have to say Ben Root has shown exceptional grace and strength under enormous pressure this week, and it’s strange to think you hang a block out to dry like that.”
Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd has backed the club’s move to review all positions in power, saying he “only wants the best” for the Bombers.
“When the football meeting was called last week, after the board was paid, at that point it was not about Ben, it was about the culture of the football club,” he said.
“The culture is not good, there are a lot of unhappy people. You can see it in the performance, it’s not a good ride. I’ve said it all the way through, I just want what’s best for the club, and that has to be seen above all else.
“The chairman (Paul Brasher) has been seen and he’s now stopped, then you’ve got to see the chief executive (Xavier Campbell) … then the next one will be Ben Root and then Josh Mahoney as head of football.
“It all comes together, you have to get good people in the four key areas, and the rest will filter in from there. That’s where you should start.