Carlton chief executive Steven Trigg has hurriedly tried to hose down an explosive comment about coach Mick Malthouse’s AFL future.
Trigg took the highly-unusual step of being interviewed by Channel Seven and Fox Footy immediately after Geelong thrashed the Blues by 77 points on Friday night.
He gave those two interviews before Malthouse gave his post-match media conference.
That followed a pre-game radio interview where Trigg admitted the Blues’ disastrous campaign could worsen to the point where Malthouse would not see out the season.
The media predictably seized on Trigg’s pre-game comment, sparking a fresh crisis for the beleaguered club.
Speaking to 3AW before the game, Trigg admitted their woes could force the club’s board to rethink its stance on the coach.
“There’s potentially a point, but we’re also striving to be respectful of Mick to try and get to a situation where we can work our way out of this,” he said.
But post-match, Trigg was adamant that the Carlton board would not discuss Malthouse’s future until the second half of the season.
Malthouse is in the last year of his contract.
“We’re determined to stay the plan, which is assess it, to put it on the agenda, in the second half of the season,” Trigg told Channel Seven.
“What I was asked (on 3AW) is, does there become a tipping point.
“In anything, there becomes a time when you have to really assess it.
“We said we’d do it in the second half of the season.”
This latest drama was sparked by Malthouse’s comments on Thursday at his weekly media conference.
Malthouse put himself at odds with Trigg and Carlton president Mark LoGiudice by saying that plans to rebuild their list had sapped his players of all confidence.
“I didn’t feel embarrassed as much as surprised by it,” Trigg told Fox Footy post-game.
“Right throughout the pre-season and the early part of the season, I’ve always felt internally as though we’re very much on the same page … (with) what we need to do.
“As I said before the game, I will seek some clarification.
“People might find it a little strange that it wasn’t tackled today, but my view was, for better or worse, is that match day, you need to respect that.”
Trigg was asked if Malthouse’s comments on Thursday or the heavy Friday night loss had changed anything in terms of the coaching seeing out the season.
The Blues boss replied: “not as far as I know – nobody has said anything different to me from a board perspective.”
Trigg said he was talking to Malthouse regularly and they remain on the same page.
“I talk to him most days, and probably weekly, about the fact that the support is there for him,” he said.
It was also put to Trigg post-game that something had to give at Carlton before the second half of the season as they continue to struggle.
“That’s a view – I have nothing to add to it, because I’ve already stated the club’s position,” he said.