Just a few months after he signed a contract extension, Brett Ratten was dismissed as St Kilda senior coach. In a statement, the club said they "got it wrong". The Saints recently completed a thorough a review of their football operations, with the findings indicating a change of leadership and voice in the senior coach position was needed. Saints president Andrew Bassett and chief executive Simon Lethlean held a press conference in mid-October to explain their decision.
Bassat labelled it a “brutal process”, saying Ratten was “blindsided” by the club’s decision and had “no inkling” his position was under threat, “This has been a very tough few weeks and the decision ... has been a very painful one for the club and of course incredibly disappointing for Brett and his family ... our duty to members in the pursuit of success requires us to make the best decision for the club and for the members and not the individual ...".
Ratten previously coached Carlton, the club he played for, between2007 and 2012 before being shockingly sacked from that role following the 2012 season when the Blues finished 10th.
Lethlean said Ratten had “great respect” from Saints players, who’d been left “saddened by the decision because they‘re so close and love and respect Brett. " ...He was very disappointed. He wants to coach the club and that opportunity has been taken away from him in a decision that is designed to get this club out ‘middle of the road’ and get us to the top of the table... ".
Lethlean, Bassett, and Ratten had several meetings, giving Ratten a chance to plead his case for staying on as coach. Lethlean described the board meeting where the decision was made as "agonizing". He continued, "... there were a bunch of other things we need to get better in our program for us to be successful. This isn’t all about our coaching program and all about Brett. If we don‘t fix those things, the new coach will also struggle to be successful..."
There is no shortage of candidates. Adem Yze, who just missed out on the GWS and Essendon positions is one. Others include Saints favorite sons Robert Harvey and Lenny Hayes who will also be considered along with Mark McVeigh and Ash Hansen. The Saints could also turn to experienced senior coaches like Leon Cameron, Nathan Buckley, James Hird, or even back to Ross Lyon.
Veteran AFL club administrator Geoff Walsh was appointed the club’s new football boss earlier this month following the review, and declared there had “been a degree of irrelevance” when it comes to St Kilda in the past. Earlier this year Walsh helped conduct the review at North Melbourne which led to David Noble’s sacking, as well as the 2021 review which led to David Teague’s sacking from Carlton.
Article last changed on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 5:27 PM EDT