Not just about Balme: Tigers rebel group

Richmond board challenger Bryan Wood insists his rebel group have other candidates in mind if Neil Balme turns down a mooted CEO of football position at the AFL club.

That list could be headed by another former Richmond player, three-time AFL premiership coach Mick Malthouse.

The group called for a spill of the Tigers’ board on Monday, pledging to retain coach Damien Hardwick, chief executive Brendon Gale and football boss Dan Richardson in their current posts.

The point of difference was establishing a new senior position above Richardson and they publicly nominated Balme as an ideal appointment.

Confusion continues to reign over whether Balme has any interest in the role.

“Neil Balme is the ideal fit but if he’s not available, well then we go for the next best,” Wood, a four-time premiership player with Richmond, told radio station RSN927.

“We’ve been lambasted about saying we will talk to Neil Balme, so we’re reluctant to mention the one or two others that we would look at as well if Neil Balme’s not available.

“So at this stage I’m not prepared to mention anyone else.”

But Wood was more forthcoming when asked a follow-up question regarding Malthouse, who played 121 games for Richmond and was sacked as Carlton coach in 2015.

“If you mention – look – he may be someone we would talk to, yes,” Wood said.

“There are a number of coaches that once they’ve finished coaching have gone on to the admin side of things.

“But until we sit down and have a round table discussion with people, we can’t make those decisions.”

Wood admitted he still had no idea whether Balme would consider leaving his job at Collingwood.

“I haven’t spoken to Neil Balme. I believe yesterday afternoon there was approaches made by our group,” he said.

“It’s been a busy morning. I haven’t heard whether they’ve spoken to him or not.”

Wood also sought to clarify comments from Martin Hiscock, the cardiologist who is heading the rebel group.

Hiscock drew widespread criticism for saying Hardwick’s “gameplan has to change”, with the consensus being that football tactics should be left to coaches.

“I’m not quite sure that we’re going to tell the coach how to coach,” Wood said.

“We just want everyone to understand exactly what the coach is trying to achieve and that we’re all walking in the same direction.

“I wouldn’t say it was a mistake (from Hiscock), I would say it was a bit strong.

“At a press conference with 40 or 50 journalists, cameras rolling – you know you get a little bit agitated at times.”

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