AFL news 2021: Carlton, coach, Denis Pagan comments, CEO Cain Liddle sacked, David Teague


Amid yet another day of upheaval at Carlton, one of its former coaches has taken a huge swipe at the club’s lack of stability.

Former Carlton coach Denis Pagan has slammed a lack of unity at the club, on the same day another high-profile figure at the Blues was sacked.

Carlton is searching for its fifth coach in nine years after David Teague was told his services were no longer required last month.

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Pagan was sacked by the Blues in 2007 after winning just 25 out of 104 matches during his five years in charge.

But the 73-year-old, who coached North Melbourne to two premierships in 1996 and 1999, believes Carlton’s biggest issue is it does not support its coach adequately and give them enough opportunity to prove themselves.

“We make so much about the coach,” Pagan told SEN.

“The Carlton situation is not just about the coach, it’s about the board, it’s about the administration, it’s about the executive, it’s about the past players.

“I reckon the best thing Carlton could do is get all those stakeholders in, give them a chance to say what they think, put it on the whiteboard, give everyone a chance to vote on it and come up with some key-result areas then say, ‘everyone shut up, we’re backing this bloke in’.

“That’s Carlton’s biggest problem – being united, getting behind the coach and backing him in.”

Pagan said constant speculation about the coach created an environment of off-field instability at Carlton, which he described as a “snake pit” during his time at the club.

He also urged the Blues to stick with their coach for an extended period of time.

“Divisions, disunity, Chinese whispers, this bloke says you’re no good … you haven’t got a chance and that’s been happening at Carlton during my time right up to now, it hasn’t changed in 25 years,” Pagan said.

“With so many intelligent people there, I just can’t for the life of me work out why they can’t get everyone united.

“Make a commitment to the coach. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Snowy off the tram or Alastair Clarkson.

“Once you’ve got that, then start talking about your coach and backing him in. A lot of coaches have been there, good coaches, and failed. Why?

“Maybe the talent wasn’t there, but having been there, I can tell you it was a snake pit. I don’t know if too much has changed over the last 25 years.”

Pagan’s comments come after yet another day of upheaval at the Blues, which saw CEO Cain Liddle sacked.

The Blues had already fired coach Teague last month after missing out on the finals for an eighth straight season and Liddle is another victim of the club’s efforts to turn its fortunes around.

The fallout to the Blues’ horror show in 2021 now includes Liddle’s scalp as the club seeks to address its underperforming football department and find a new coach after the preferred candidates pulled out.

Channel 7’s Tom Browne reports new Carlton president Luke Sayers wanted Ross Lyon to be the new coach, but Liddle didn’t share the same enthusiasm, which was the “final straw” for the embattled boss.

Liddle became CEO in late 2017 after working at Richmond in other roles.

Carlton is reportedly keen to bring outgoing Geelong CEO Brian Cook to the club.

Liddle’s departure comes after Teague was sacked following an independent review into Carlton’s failings.

A panel featuring football boss Brad Lloyd, former premiership coach David Parkin, incoming football director Greg Williams and board members Tim Lincoln and Patty Kinnersly will choose Teague’s successor.

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