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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

In a shock move, the Adelaide Crows have fired Coach Brenton Sanderson with two years remaining on his contract. Those two years were an extension which Sanderson signed just last December. The club said the axing came after an extensive review of the club's entire football operations. Chairman Rob Chapman confirmed Brenton Sanderson's inability to communicate with players was part of the reason for his sacking.

In a media statement, Chapman acknowledged Sanderson as a "quality person and accomplished coach" but said there was a need for change. "Both parties have realized they have different perspectives on where we are at as a footy team." Chapman said he would endorse Sanderson's move to another club and that the club would honor the remainder of his contract.

However paying out Sanderson's contract could pose some financial issues for the club, affecting the football department's spending over the next two years as the payout will be included in the department's expenditures. This is the result of the AFL introducing new competitive balance rules, including a luxury tax for overspending the cap, to curb inflationary spending and eliminate waste in football departments. The new measures take effect next year. It is an issue the AFL has been trying to address since 2010 with over $3 million being spent since that time to pay out coaching contracts. The club could appeal to the AFL stating "exceptional circumstances".

Sanderson was appointed in 2012 and got the Crows into the Preliminary Final that year. They lost by five points to Hawthorn. The Crows' past two seasons have been less than stellar with the team finishing 11th last year and 10th this year.


Article last changed on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 9:23 AM EDT

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