Plot thickens in Carlton coaching debacle as Alastair Clarkson rumours swirl


Footy pundits were expecting the Blues to announce Teague had been sacked on Monday but instead they cancelled a scheduled all-club meeting and said they would take time to digest the findings of a review into their football department before making any decisions.

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Carlton President Luke Sayers issued a letter to members saying the Blues would not be rushed into making major calls by “external expectations or pressure”.

Footy journalist Caroline Wilson said the reason for the delay may be linked to wanting to know what Clarkson’s next move is. Sam Mitchell is replacing the 53-year-old as Hawks coach next season and Clarkson has yet to decide what his future holds.

“It’s extraordinary, isn’t it?” Wilson told Footy Classified. “Everybody felt that David Teague — I hate to put it this way — but would be put out of his misery in the early days that followed Carlton’s last game.

“They might have a crack about ‘external pressure’ there ... but what about David Teague? My understanding is David Teague was told today he might not know until the end of the week. It might take a week for him to know his future at Carlton.”

Asked why it would take that long, Wilson replied: “They’re waiting for Alastair Clarkson. As I’ve been saying since round one this year, they’ve been interested in Alastair.

“I think what happens now is just extraordinary for David Teague. Do they believe they would keep David Teague if Alastair said no? I don’t believe so. So why not just give him the news and give it to him today?”

Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd floated the possibility Teague may keep his job if Clarkson decides not to coach in 2022 — a situation he described on Monday night as “unfathomable to think of 24 hours ago”.

However, Wilson finds that “really hard to believe”.

Teague has been under the pump for much of his time in charge. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images).

Teague has been under the pump for much of his time in charge. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images).Source:Getty Images

Under Teague’s two full seasons in charge, Carlton finished 11th in 2020 and 13th this year, prompting speculation he had coached his final game after a loss to GWS on the weekend.

Should Teague eventually be shown the door, Ross Lyon has emerged as a contender for the role — along with Clarkson — after the former St Kilda and Fremantle mentor revealed on TV last week he would be interested should Carlton come calling.

Following his side’s brave 14-point defeat to Greater Western Sydney on Saturday, Teague hit out at the “media narrative” surrounding Carlton and called out the club’s announcement of the internal review through the media.

He fiercely denied losing relationships within the playing group and conceded he was “hurt” by those claims and the lack of backing from the club on this issue.

Teague, who holds a 21-28 record across his tenure, also took umbrage with the media taking “pot shots” at him.

Speaking after the game, he knew the writing was on the wall.

“I understand the club is going to make a decision. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t look like it’s going to go in my favour, but in terms of what I’ve done and what I’ve been able to control, I know who I am, I know why I’ve done it and I’m really happy with it,” he said.

“I love this club I don’t want to sit up here and say anything but when the review gets announced through the media that’s not high performance. I’m going to challenge it, I’m going to call it out. This footy club has got some areas to improve.

“It hurt when people said I’d lost relationships with the players. That one probably dug a little bit deep because it’s not true.

“Yeah, there’s certain players who don’t love what I say all the time, but that’s what a high performance environment is.

“I think the media narrative hasn’t quite been fair on this football club and on this playing group.

“At the start of the year many of the so-called experts didn’t have us in the eight.”

Teague is still playing the waiting game. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Teague is still playing the waiting game. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images