Staring at an eighth straight season without an AFL finals appearance, embattled Carlton are set to launch a wide-ranging independent review of their footy department.
The review, according to a report in The Age on Monday night, will be implemented by incoming Blues president Luke Sayers and be conducted by outsiders.
The performance of under-fire coach David Teague and his assistants will be scrutinised, as will the club’s fitness program and list management.
After bringing in big-money recruits Adam Saad and Zac Williams during the off-season, the expectation was Carlton would be ready to surge up the ladder in 2021.
But Sunday’s horror defeat to undermanned West Coast left them at 4-8, three wins and significant percentage behind eighth-placed Richmond.
Having gone 0-7 against top-eight teams this season, Teague concedes it will now be an “uphill battle” to qualify for finals.
Carlton’s poor performances have turned up the blowtorch on Teague, who has overseen just eight wins in the last 23 games for an overall win-loss record of 17-23.
The review could decide the 40-year-old’s coaching future, but underperforming players have also come under fire.
“It reflects poorly on David Teague and his name’s going to be brought up a lot, and so it should be, but I think the playing group as a whole need to take ownership of their careers,” ex-St Kilda champion Nick Dal Santo told Fox Footy.
“I feel sorry for David Teague in that situation and ultimately he may be in strife as a result, but I’m putting the focus on the players and the lack of leadership on game day.”
Despite the looming review, and with finals almost certainly off the table, former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon said Teague should see the second half of the season as an opportunity.
“He’s got to take a really hard stance now with his group and take total control of this footy club,” Lyon told Fox Footy.
“(He’s got to) risk losing his job in the process of setting a standard for the club going beyond this year.
“If that means you’ve got to make real hard calls on players that have been there for a long time, then do it.
“He’s got the chance in the next ten weeks to really go ‘bang’ here.”
Essendon great Matthew Lloyd, whose brother Brad Lloyd is Carlton’s head of footy, said the review should leave no stone unturned.
“I think everything should be up on the table, including the captains,” Matthew Lloyd told 3AW.
“I think it’s so much more than Teague, it’s so much more than (Patrick) Cripps.
“He (Sayers) is doing the right thing because right across the board they’re a long way off the top sides.”
Carlton have a bye this week before meeting GWS at Giants Stadium in Round 14.