Ben Rutten holds onto Essendon role after AFL chaos: 'Still our coach'

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Essendon coach Ben Rutten (pictured middle) has remained as coach of the Bombers, despite a number of board meetings. (Getty Images)
Essendon coach Ben Rutten (pictured middle) has remained as coach of the Bombers, despite a number of board meetings. (Getty Images)

Essendon coach Ben Rutten has survived and will remain as coach of the Bombers after two board meetings in the space of 24 hours at the club.

The reported upheaval was tipped after a snap board meeting on Monday in the wake of a disastrous 84-point defeat to Port Adelaide.

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It was a second consecutive embarrassing loss for the Bombers, following a 27-point defeat to GWS - one of only three teams below them on the AFL ladder.

However, Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell emerged from the talks and told reporters at the club's home that 'Ben's our coach' in a huge decision for the embattled side.

However, Essendon president Paul Brasher stood down from his role.

Campbell did admit that further reviews and board meetings will take place this week.

The 39-year-old coach is nearing the end of his second year as Bombers manager and is contracted for 2023.

His long-term future remains unclear, with further change expected at the top.

Ben Rutten blasts Essendon performance

Essendon have a 7-14 record in 2022, but the last two games have seen them lose by 84 points and 27 points against Port Adelaide and GWS.

After the loss to Port Adelaide, Rutten labelled his team's performance as "embarrassing" in a scathing review.

"Certainly it's not a great result in terms of tonight's performance, no question about that," Rutten told reporters.

"It's about us being really strong and really clear as a footy club and as a group of players about where we're going and what we're trying to build.

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell (pictured) confronted by the media as he walks into the clubs training base.
Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell (pictured) has confirmed Ben Rutten will remain as coach. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

"It's never going to be smooth sailing, clean progression to becoming a great team, but performances like that, it's not stuff that we can tolerate or accept and we won't."

Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd also weighed-in on the drama going on at the club.

The Bombers great said the team "couldn't be any further" from being a great football club, and called for a complete external review of operations.

"It's been a disaster of a season ... when you play with no spirit, and you play with no heart, it's the way you lose," Lloyd told AFL Media.

"That was as bad a loss as you could ever imagine with the lack of spirit, the lack of defensive pressure that they played with and that'll fall on the coach.

"You'd expect something has to give whether it's at board level, administration level, the coaching staff, you just can't accept performances like that."

with AAP

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