Power crisis runs deeper than coach

YESTERDAY Port Adelaide sacked coach Matthew Primus and also announced the resignation of its president, Brett Duncanson.

The former club captain looked to have earnt a third-year contract extension, as indicated by chief executive Keith Thomas on July 20, but now is left without a job.

Monday’s press conference at Alberton was a strange one, given the sole purpose was the announcement of the departure of Primus, yet the club president decided to combine his resignation with that of the now former coach.

Despite the reassurances of calm by the CEO, the certainty of the Power’s ability to make the correct decisions in progression of this proud club has long been in question and the press conference yesterday delivered little hope.

“What is happening is that cool, calculated, well-informed decisions are being made to ensure the success of the club going forward,” Thomas said.

Thomas says an extensive review of the club’s operations is under way, with the input of seven independent experts with AFL pedigrees.

Just 14,583 supporters turned up to watch the Power battle Fremantle at AAMI Stadium in  round 18, only 470 more than its lowest record. Fans, clearly, have given up and any hope once present has now been diminished.

According to The Age, Port has been given its last financial bailout, believed to be in excess of $12 million, by the SANFL, which owns the Power’s license, and the AFL.

The club has clearly conceded that the appointment of Primus after the departure of former boss Mark Williams in 2010, has failed.

Primus was appointed ahead of prospective coaching candidates in Chris Scott and Brendan McCartney, when Williams was dumped seven weeks before the end of his final season with a reported payout of about $450,000.

Lets not forget that it was only eight years ago that Williams led the Power to their first and  only flag since their introduction into the AFL in 1997.

The Port Adelaide of 2012 is far from that premiership team of 2004 and it would be naive to deny that this club isn’t in crisis.

There is much work to be done and whoever is appointed as coach for 2013 must have the full support of the board, access to the best resources and be given time to rebuild.

Two players the club must try to retain is midfielder Travis Boak and key defender Troy Chaplin, both of whom will be contemplating offers from rival clubs and now appear more than likely to add to a growing list of departures come season’s end.

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