Nathan Buckley's blunt response to Essendon coaching job

Nathan Buckley and Ben Rutten are pictured side by side.
Nathan Buckley says he has no interest in Essendon's vacant coaching job after the manner in which they sacked Ben Rutten. Pictures: Getty Images

Former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has piled on the criticism of Essendon when asked if he'd consider coaching the club, offering a resounding 'no' when quizzed on the topic.

The Bombers have been roundly criticised for the messy sacking of coach Ben Rutten, whose departure was announced after Essendon's 66-point thumping at the hands of Richmond on Sunday.

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The sacking came after the Bombers made a late push to recruit highly-rated mentor Alastair Clarkson, who signed with North Melbourne after months of discussions with the Kangaroos.

Clarkson was critical of the position Rutten found himself in thanks to Essendon's public overtures, while Carlton coach Michael Voss also offered his sympathies to Rutten less than an hour after the heartbreaking end to the Blues' season.

Speaking with Garry Lyon on Fox Footy on Sunday evening, Buckley said it was clear the Bombers needed to get their house in order off the field before any senior coach would begin to have any effect on the team's on-field performance.

Buckley was categorical in his criticism of the Bombers off-field operations, saying at present a new coach would solve nothing.

"...I‘d have a chat to them about what I think they needed, and I certainly hope they don’t think that just changing the bloke in the senior coach role is going to make all the difference, because that’s not the way,” Buckley said.

“I would give them this advice: changing the senior coach role is not going to (have you) go from where you were to where you want to be.”

President David Barham said Essendon would finalise their recruitment process, to be run by internal and external figures, in the coming days and "have a new coach in place as soon as possible".

That means the recruitment process will start before the club receives the findings of its impending review.

Buckley said Essendon were in a position where, rather than prospective coaches pitching their services, it would be the other way around as long as Essendon's off-field operations remained shaky.

“Generally, if you‘re a prospective senior coach you’re taking whatever opportunity is there for you. There are plenty that would say, ‘if you give me the opportunity then I will make it work’,” Buckley said.

“But I reckon Essendon are now having to sell themselves to someone because they need to prove to the person who‘s going to go and step in there that they’ve got their ducks in a row — and I don’t think they have at the moment.”

Bombers seeking 'experienced coach' to replace sacked Ben Rutten

The Bombers sacked Rutten after a three-hour board meeting on Sunday, having previously failed to lure Clarkson, and will now search for their third coach in four seasons.

"We can do both things at the same time. We can effectively manage both processes at the same time," Barham told reporters.

"So we need to get on with it because this is where we are. We also need to do a thorough review of the football club, so we can do both those things successfully at the same time.

"We think we're after a more experienced coach. We think a more experienced coach might be able to get more out of this list and we really want to give our list the best chance."

Bombers fans have lashed out at the club over their treatment of head coach Ben Rutten amid a tumultuous week at Essendon. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Bombers fans have lashed out at the club over their treatment of head coach Ben Rutten amid a tumultuous week at Essendon. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Chief executive Xavier Campbell indicated the coach would need to be in place ahead of the trade and draft periods.

"We'd love to think that by the end of September, we're in a good position to have found the next coach of the Essendon Football Club," he said.

"Which positions them well enough to certainly have a positive impact on some critical industry timelines."

The Bombers have already been linked to former mentor James Hird but Barham said he hadn't "sounded out" any options.

Remarkably, despite Carlton's season coming to a painful end just half an hour earlier, Carlton coach Voss said it was reasonable to expect better treatment from clubs in light of Rutten's sacking.

Voss endured his own painful exit from the Brisbane Lions in 2013 after a difficult tenure with his home club.

"Having been a coach in that situation, it's enormously difficult," Voss said.

"It's even made more difficult the way it was actually handled.

"I don't think that's what we're about as an industry.

"I join that growing chorus of disappointment of the way that's unfolded and that we have to subject someone like that to be able to coach their way through their last game.

"I reckon we're way better than that and we've all got a role to play in it."

With AAP

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