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Silvagni blasts "amateur" Blues over his exit

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21st October, 2020
10

Former Carlton list manager and club legend Stephen Silvagni has hit out at the AFL club over the way they handled his December exit.

Carlton great and former list manager Stephen Silvagni has lashed out at the Blues, saying the AFL club was “amateur” and “lacked any respect” in the way they handled his departure.

Silvagni departed Carlton after five years as list boss in December 2019, the club issuing a statement saying the decision “centred around the increasing complexity of having two sons on the playing list” which had become a “conflict” for Silvagni and the staff working with him.

Speaking for the first time since his departure, Silvagni said that press release had thrown his sons –  Carlton players Jack and Ben Silvagni – “under the bus” ahead of the current season.

“Looking back at the press release, it just put the boys under the bus,” Silvagni told SEN on Wednesday.

“I thought it was amateur, to be honest, and really lacked any respect in terms of how you handle people on the way out.

“That was probably the most hurtful thing. I think your two biggest assets at a football club are your supporters and your players.

“The way that press release was written up I think put two players under the bus and put more pressure on them than they should have to handle throughout a season.”

Ben was recently delisted without playing a game while Jack is contracted for 2021 and Silvagni said he hadn’t spoken to his eldest son about his immediate playing future.

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Silvagni said he’d been speaking with president Mark LoGiudice throughout 2019 about moving on, but the situation became “messy” and was ultimately taken out of his hands.

He said he’d been hurt when LoGiudice told him chief executive Cain Liddle felt Silvagni would “sabotage” the Blues’ trade and draft period.

“When your president has a chat to you and he says ‘I’ve fought for you’ – that the CEO (Liddle) said to him that he felt as though I would sabotage the trade and draft period – that probably hurt me the most,” Silvagni said.

“When you’ve played for a club for 17 years and you put your body on the line and supported the club all your life, for a person to actually say that you’ll sabotage the trade and draft period.

“And really for me, an outsider that’s come into the club and really doesn’t know a lot about the club and really doesn’t know a lot about me – that was probably the most disappointing out of everything that happened.”

Silvagni also said the Blues’ football hierarchy had agreed Eddie Betts should return to the club “at a price” but Liddle had come over the top to offer the forward more money.

© AAP