Blues crisis rolls on in AFL

The pressure continues to build at embattled Carlton, with coach Mick Malthouse clearly at odds with the club’s administration and their AFL team in freefall.

There was speculation about a Sunday meeting between Blues president Mark LoGuidice and chief executive Steven Trigg, which Carlton denied.

But Malthouse’s future at the club appears increasingly tenuous.

Carlton have another high-profile Friday night match this week and Sydney at the SCG is an ominous assignment for the league’s bottom team.

They have had four-straight losses on the field and growing turmoil off it.

Last Thursday, Malthouse broke ranks when he said comments from the Carlton hierarchy about rebuilding was a big mental hurdle for the players to overcome.

Trigg then went on radio before Friday night’s 77-point loss against Geelong and on TV after the game to say Malthouse’s comment had surprised him.

Trigg also dropped a bombshell pre-game, saying their disastrous season could worsen to the point where Malthouse would not see out the season.

He later moved to water that down.

After speaking to Trigg and other Carlton officials, Malthouse said post-game that he and the Blues hierarchy were on the same page.

But Malthouse also said it is not in his DNA to quit.

On Sunday morning, two-time reigning premiership coach Alastair Clarkson said the Carlton crisis was unpleasant.

“The thing we want to see with all our football clubs is that there’s some sort of stability and continuity,” Clarkson told the ABC’s Offsiders program.

“Even as an opposition … you don’t like seeing clubs go through (this).

“It’s not good for the competition, in a sense – the mid-season turmoil in particular.

“It disrupts other clubs, it disrupts the competition (and) you just hope something could be sorted out.

“It’s a real toxic and difficult environment.”

Blues assistant John Barker appears the most likely candidate to be interim senior coach should Carlton sack Malthouse.

And Sydney assistant Stuart Dew is emerging as a prime candidate for his first senior role.

“He sees the game extremely well, Stuart Dew,” former Swans star Jude Bolton told Channel Seven.

“It’s a modern-day game and he’d be the next coach in line.”

Star Swans midfielder Josh Kennedy said they would miss Dew if he went to another club.

“That’s the first I heard of it this morning, that he could be up for the job,” Kennedy said.

“Obviously I’d love him to continue on his career and be a great head coach, as I think he would be.

“But we’d definitely miss him at the Swans, because he’s a great part of the coaching group.

“Whatever role he takes, he’ll be pretty successful.”

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