Brisbane legend Jonathan Brown has warned his former AFL club that young talent will walk if there are more dispiriting losses.
The Lions were embarrassed by Collingwood in round eight, conceding the game’s first eight goals in a 78-point defeat at home.
A shocked Lions coach Justin Leppitsch was at a loss to explain his team’s lack of effort.
Brown, who won three flags with Brisbane and turned down plenty of cashed-up offers in his 256-game career, was “embarrassed to be a Lions supporter on Saturday night”.
The 34-year-old added that if the slump didn’t end soon then youngsters would start looking for new homes.
“If you keep rolling out performances like that, they won’t stay,” Brown told Fox Footy.
“You wouldn’t want to play in the forward line with that sort of performance from the midfield.
“But I’m confident in the club, the culture and the environment.
“I’m confident they will stay but you can’t have efforts like that.”
The Lions have recently worked hard to combat the go-home factor, having bid an unwanted farwell to Sam Docherty, Jared Polec, Elliot Yeo and Billy Longer in the 2013 trade period alone.
They went within a goal of upsetting Sydney in round six but the wheels have fallen off in woeful losses to Port Adelaide and the Magpies.
“Multiple players will be dropped after that performance,” Brown said.
“Unfortunately though the reserves are getting beaten by about 100 points regularly, so the depth is not there.
“The midfield is not firing a shot when they’re under pressure.
“If the Collingwood players had a lack of effort like that, they wouldn’t leave the house for a week .. up north you don’t cop any scrutiny.”
Queensland’s two AFL clubs remain in a sorry state of health, with Gold Coast having lost by 91 points to fellow expansion side Greater Western Sydney in round eight.
Things could soon get far worse for the Suns, with Gary Ablett in doubt for his side’s upcoming clash with Adelaide because of concussion.
AFL chief Gillon McLachlan noted “we’d like those clubs to be going better than they are”.
But McLachlan insisted the Suns’ outlook was not as dark as it seemed.
“We’re happy with their progress,” McLachlan told the Seven Network.
“The strategy for expansion for Gold Coast is clear. They’ve more than paid for themselves through the broadcast (deal).
“There were two very poor outcomes for the clubs in Queensland … let’s see the season out.
“Work through it. Provide the support we can and just keep going.”
McLachlan also dismissed Leigh Matthews’ view that the market could only support one side.
“We always listen to Leigh. That’s a personal view, I don’t agree.” he said.
Geelong coach Chris Scott, who played 215 matches for the Lions, warned people not to “jump at shadows” when it came to the two Queensland sides.
“It’s never going as well as it is and it’s never as bleak as you think it is,” Scott told Fox Footy.
“I suspect it’s going to take time to get them both up and running.”