'Slap in the face': Carlton shredded over Ross Lyon debacle

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·Sports Reporter
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Carlton's pursuit of Ross Lyon and Alastair Clarkson to be the next coach of the Blues has been heavily criticised, with neither candidate now likely to accept the job. Pictures: Getty Images
Carlton's pursuit of Ross Lyon and Alastair Clarkson to be the next coach of the Blues has been heavily criticised, with neither candidate now likely to accept the job. Pictures: Getty Images

The Carlton Blues have been criticised over their pursuit of a new head coach after it emerged the club was willing to forgo a lengthy selection process in favour of former Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson.

Both Ross Lyon and Clarkson had been heavily linked to the vacant head coaching positions at Carlton and Collingwood, but the latter moved on after hiring Craig McRae.

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It emerged earlier this week that Lyon had elected to pull out of the race for the Blues coaching job amid what is becoming an increasingly farcical search for a new head coach.

The Blues were heavily criticised for the handling of former coach David Teague's dismissal, with club president Luke Sayers admitting to having a 45-minute phone call with Lyon the day Teague's departure was announced.

While all that was happening, the Blues continued to pursue Clarkson, despite the former Hawthorn coach declaring he was going on a 12-month sabbatical.

Now it has emerged that the club was only willing to offer Clarkson the job, before the club later announced it would appoint a coach after a selection process to be undertaken by a six-person committee.

Lyon's interest in the Carlton job has cooled since the announcement of the sub-committee.

In an appearance on Channel 9's Footy Classified this week, Lyon said he had reached out to Blues president Luke Sayers to clear the air regarding the club's coaching search.

“I was watching the news and what was being released so I reached out to Luke today and we connected and said ‘just want some clarity’," Lyon said.

“Luke was terrific, he said ‘we’re finalising it, putting some finishing touches on it’, which they’ve clearly done with the panel.”

However, the shambolic process of beginning the search for a coach has lead some AFL pundits to speculate the Blues are only digging themselves in deeper.

Carlton criticised over messy AFL coaching search

With it now confirmed the Blues were willing to offer Clarkson the role immediately, while simultaneously announcing a protracted selection process which Lyon would like have been required to go through, Carlton faced serious scrutiny some footy greats.

SEN host and former Melbourne great Garry Lyon said the revelation was a 'slap in the face'.

“If they then turn around and go to Clarko it’s a slap in the face for Rossy,” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast.

“Because they’re saying, we’re going to go through a process, Rossy, unless it’s Clarko.”

Lyon withdrew from the Carlton selection process less than a day after it was announced.

Carlton won 21 of 50 games coached by David Teague before he was sacked as coach after the 2021 season. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Carlton won 21 of 50 games coached by David Teague before he was sacked as coach after the 2021 season. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Lyon coached St Kilda to two losing grand finals and one drawn decider between 2007 and 2011 before moving to the Dockers in 2012.

He was sacked by Fremantle in 2019 and remains the only coach to take the club to a grand final - in 2013.

Carlton could now turn their attention to untried assistant coaches who went through the interview process for Collingwood's senior position.

Three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player Craig McRae was confirmed as the Magpies' new coach on Wednesday.

Richmond assistant Adam Kingsley and West Coast's Jaymie Graham were among the candidates to sit down with Collingwood's coaching selection committee.

Former Lions coach Michael Voss, who is now a senior assistant at Port Adelaide, also interviewed for the Magpies job and was linked to Carlton before Teague was appointed in 2019.

Teague coached the Blues in 50 games for 21 wins and was ousted after Carlton's external review into the club's football department.

With AAP

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