• November 28, 2021

AFL 2021: Pay Consequences: Hawthorn Hawks bosses must put egos aside and give Mitchell a shot at success

One of the great ironies of 2021 has been that Jeff Kennett, the freest president with his advice on governance issues, will throw $ 900,000 into Alastair Clarkson’s pocket over the next two seasons, while the four-time prime minister’s coach takes A sabbatical in 2022 after testifying last week he refused to take the job at Carlton.

That was clearly a situation Kennett wanted to avoid, as it created for Sam Mitchell and Clarkson an unworkable arrangement that no one thought could work, let alone the players whose careers would be most affected if the trade took 18 months, rather than the eventuality. four weeks.

Jeff Kennett has come under fire from sections of Hawthorn’s fan base.Credit:fake images

On Sunday, Kennett said nothing about what the board might face when they meet Monday to discuss the future without Clarkson as an employee for the first time in 17 years. He oversaw a tumultuous period that mocked the Hawks’ use of the phrase “the family club.”

The murmurs of discontent were evident until 2020 when COVID struck and key figures in the club began to act as if their relationship were thought to be doomed as the air of Barossa Valley was filled with growing disappointment.

It’s hard to believe, but the contract variations that occurred when coaches accepted pay cuts as a result of the shutdown were handled so clumsily that the head coach found himself in the midst of a payroll mishap that raised questions about management.

The relationship with Box Hill also became strained, with changes in the wind for the affiliate club Mitchell coached this season and has been so vital to the success of the Clarkson era. The affiliation will continue, but the uncertainty has been obvious to everyone involved in the relationship at the administrative level.

Alastair Clarkson and Shaun Burgoyne leave the MCG for the last time in the Hawthorn colors.

Alastair Clarkson and Shaun Burgoyne leave the MCG for the last time in the Hawthorn colors. Credit:AFL Photos

Add in the reported problems with Clarkson receiving his exit pay following his elegant farewell against Richmond alongside club hero Shaun Burgoyne, and you paint a picture of a club that has not been following the values ​​that the AFL and club legend John do. Kennedy instilled in Glenferrie Oval and then transferred to Waverley, where his statue stands as a reminder of what should matter in Hawthorn.

The Hawks want to put all of that in the past, but the reality for fans is that Mitchell is being asked to build a soccer department out of seven percent of his soft cap during the first two seasons.

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