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Western Bulldogs drama laid bare in admission about Luke Beveridge and Chris Grant

The club has been under fire after reports of tension between Luke Beveridge and Chris Grant.

Luke Beveridge speaks to his players.
Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains has admitted there was previous tension between coach Luke Beveridge and head of football Chris Grant, but the club is moving forward. (Getty Images)

Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains has made a telling admission on the tension at the club after reports coach Luke Beveridge and head of football Chris Grant had not been seeing eye-to-eye. Beveridge has been under fire heading into round one with the AFL coach staying away from the media as the club undertook a review of the 2023 season.

Reports suggest friction between Beveridge and Grant, but a recent review into the club’s football department has eased some of the workload on Grant with Matthew Egan appointed as coaching performance manager. To add to the club's drama, a number of key players are also out of contract at the end of the 2024 season.

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In 2023, the Bulldogs missed the finals and many AFL fans felt the team underperformed. And Beveridge was reportedly overruled when long-time assistant Rohan Smith was let go. And in the wake of the drama, CEO Bains moved to quell any tension surrounding the club and claimed the team have kick-started 2024 in promising style.

But Bains did admit there had been tension during the previous department, before a review took place for the underperforming club. “There has been in many quarters I think just generally within the previous department going back to the… uncertainty," Bains said on SEN Radio when asked about reports of tension.

"I was on record a couple of weeks ago dismissing some of the suggestions about there being a blow-up and a breakdown and things like that, I think that’s grossly exaggerated…” While he was forthright about past tension, Bains moved to quell the reports and claimed the mood around the club has taken a huge turn heading into the new season.

"I had the privilege of being on our training camp in Mooloolaba for eight or nine days and I saw a really different program with just the excitement, the energy, the enthusiasm and the process that we’ve gone through – albeit it has been quite protracted and has involved two stages – has actually allowed for a lot of the people who have been at our club to almost have a cathartic experience talking about it and getting it off their chest with a view to then seeing what changes come from that," Bains added.

Bains admitted there had been uncertainty around the club as the team went through changem which took a toll on the coach. “I think it’s been delicate with everyone and particularly in that phase last year when there was a lot of change and uncertainty, it’s human nature to be really anxious about what’s coming next,” Bains added.

Western Bulldogs face questions over Luke Beveridge

Braden Ingram of Nine News reported last week that the relationship between Beveridge and Grant had become strained after a difficult season in 2023, which saw the Bulldogs miss the finals. Beveridge was reportedly overruled when long-time assistant Rohan Smith was let go.

“I can tell you the relationship between head of football Chris Grant and Luke Beveridge has been strained,” Ingram said. “It’s well known Beveridge wanted to keep departed assistant Rohan Smith last year, but Grant and CEO Ameet Bains had a different view, this contributed to the frayed relationship.

“After employing Matthew Egan from Geelong as coaching performance manager, the Dogs promoted him just months later to general manager of footy ops following a review into the football department. Meaning basically Beveridge doesn’t report directly to Grant but instead Egan.”

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