Carlton have officially sacked David Teague, bringing to an end a messy saga over his future with the AFL club.
After Fox Footy and AFL.com.au reported Teague was told the news on Thursday that he would not be coaching the team next season, the club officially confirmed his tenure will end effective immediately.
Teague departs after 50 games in charge, with a win-loss ratio of 42 percent.
Teague, 40, a former Blues best and fairest winner as a player, rejoined the club as an assistant at the end of 2017, replacing Brendon Bolton as caretaker coach in the middle of 2019.
His replacement will be the club’s ninth coach since 2000.
With Alastair Clarkson seemingly having ruled himself out of contention, former Fremantle coach Ross Lyon is considered the frontrunner for the vacancy. Lyon last week said he would take a call from Carlton should the job become available, a statement Teague’s manager Liam Pickering described as “grubby”.
“We understand our members and supporters expect more from our on-field performance and expect us to consistently win games of football. There is no hiding from the fact that to date, we have fallen short of that expectation,” Blues President Luke Sayers said in a statement released on Thursday morning.
“It was made clear that in order for us to achieve our objective, changes to the coaching personnel were required, including the Senior Coach position.”
Despite the announcement, Sayers was full of praise for Teague’s efforts in his time at the helm.
“There can be absolutely no denying that David Teague gave everything as Senior Coach of our football club,” he said.
“He demonstrated care and commitment on a consistent basis, and he never wavered from wanting to make the Carlton Football Club a better place.
“While that has not translated into the on-field results we had hoped, we are certainly better for having David as an integral part of our football club for the last four years, two of which were as our senior coach.”
Meanwhile, St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt launched a stinging attack on Carlton, saying the way the club had treated Teague was “mind-boggling.”
“When you project forward to next year, what cultural damage is Carlton inflicting on themselves at the moment with those who actually do remain?” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.
“No one has been missed in this.
“The collateral (damage) is everywhere and I think this is going to have a lasting cultural impact on this group.”
Social media reaction was scathing of the club.
Blues have handled Teague horribly. He has been all class.
At least he doesn’t have to coach Carlton anymore.
— Peter Helliar (@pjhelliar) August 26, 2021
Carlton’s handling of Teague was disgraceful and while I’m not saying he should have stayed on, is their team that much better than their finishing position this season?
Good backline but a very thin midfield with only one gun (this season) & one gun forward (with Charlie out).
— Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) August 25, 2021
Carlton finally tells David Teague it's over despite putting up a new Tinder profile weeks ago.
— Titus O'Reily (@TitusOReily) August 25, 2021
My opinion that no one asked for. You can’t keep sacking coaches every 2 years. Actually give Teague some support and get some experience around him. Too many reactive decisions have been made in the past, it’s gotta stop.
— Dylan Buckley (@dylan_buckley) August 25, 2021
In an interview with the Herald Sun earlier this month, Carlton’s outgoing president Mark LoGuidice said despite the external noise around Teague’s position, the club would not make a decision until the review was completed.
“I can tell you categorically this, no one has spoken to anyone else about coaching the footy club,” he said.
When asked if Carlton had approached Hawthorn premiership winner Clarkson, LoGiudice said: “No, not even a cheeky text message.
“We’ve made a commitment that until we get this review and know where we’re heading, then there’s no need to speak to anybody.”
On Wednesday Clarkson’s camp sought to quell speculation about his immediate future.
Clarkson’s manager James Henderson has officially ruled the 53-year-old out of landing at another club in 2022.
“He (Clarkson) is fully committed to taking the year off to spend time with his family and to undertake further study and personal development opportunities,” a statement read.
Henderson confirmed that he had received approaches from some AFL clubs this week but had not advanced any of those discussions.
AFL legend and four-time premiership coach, Leigh Matthews blasted Carlton’s hierarchy for the handling of the review.
“I must say, from the outside, whoever’s running that football club has got no idea how to run a football club,” Matthews told 3AW.
“I reckon it’s the people at the top of that football club that are the problem. Somehow or other, that is just not working.”
Last week Teague had asked for support from the Blues hierarchy.
“I’m contracted for 2022,” Teague said last Thursday in response to Lyon’s ‘come and get me’ plea.
“I’m planning for that. I still believe I’m the person to go forward. Unless [Lyon] knows something that I don’t know, then I’m going to continue to plan to be the coach next year.
“I understand the review process.
“At times, there has been some media and some journalism that’s just not true. Would I have loved some people from within the club to come out and back me up? Absolutely, I’m not going to lie.
“Have we nailed the process? I don’t think so. I think that’s clear and I think everyone would put their hand up to that. But in terms of the why, the desire is to get Carlton back to being a really good footy team. I understand that and I desperately want that.
“I want to be part of that and I believe I can be part of that. There’s a group of players down there that will have success, they are going to have success. We’re doing some things right, but we’ve got to get better.
“There’s a lot of areas we’ve got to get better. Our stoppage work is just not good enough at the moment, our defence hasn’t been consistent enough. We’ve shown periods where we’ve nailed our game style, but too often we haven’t been able to nail it consistently.
“There’s a lot of growth in this footy club and we’ve got to do the hard work. We’ve got to dig in and get that done. That will take us to where we need to get to and that’s being a good team again.”