Carlton Have Sacked Coach Mick Malthouse

Embattled and highly controversial coach Mick Malthouse has been sacked by the Carlton Blues following an inflammatory radio interview this morning.

The Carlton board had originally announced their decision to review Mick’s position at the club during the team’s upcoming bye week in Round 11. But Malthouse appeared on the Morning Glory show on SEN Radio this morning and vehemently questioned that decision, insisting what – to be frank – many Carlton fans and football fans in general must’ve been thinking: “What’s the bloody point of waiting?

“If people can judge me after 30 years, what’s two more weeks mean? That I’d lose it totally or I’d gain more knowledge about it? There’s not a lot to gain from two weeks, is there?  I don’t really get it. If you don’t know about the person now, what does two weeks show?”

“Good boards stay sound. Boards crack under pressure, and the first thing that goes is the coach because it relieves a bit of the pressure. They beat their chest and they’ve made a decision and they move on. Very few of them ever work, but I dare say that people will quote the ones that do work.”

The interview forced the Carlton board’s hand, with Club President Mark LoGuidace calling an emergency board meeting with Malthouse, where his involvement with the club was deemed to officially be untenable, and thus came the expected announcement of his sacking this afternoon.

Malthouse becomes the first AFL coach sacked by a club before Round 9 of a home-and-away season since Terry Wheeler who was fired by Footscray after just two rounds of the 1994 AFL season.
The Blues list has been struggling on the heels of poor list management, poor recruiting, poor player retention, and further exacerbated this season by injury to key players. After 8 rounds they languish on the bottom of the ladder with just one win to their name, and an atrocious percentage of 64.9.
Malthouse has drawn the ire of the club and fans alike during his tenure with the Blues, continually rebuking the dialogue coming from the Carlton board room, and at one point lamenting that free agency was ruining the club as players did not see Carlton as an attractive place to play football – despite its club heritage and inner Melbourne training locale.
Malthouse’s coaching career now likely comes to a final end with 715 senior coaching games under his belt – the most of any individual in the history of the league. He collected three premierships – two with the West Coast Eagles and one with Collingwood – and took teams to seven Grand Finals.
He took over at Carlton in 2013 after the club unceremoniously dumped favourite son Brett Ratten.
Current Blues backline coach John Barker is the early favourite to be appointed to the hefty task of steering Carlton through the rest of the season as caretaker senior coach. No mean feat given the season isn’t even half over yet.
It’s an oft tossed around phrase, but in this case it’s hard to argue against. Today could well represent the darkest hour of the proud Carlton Football Club.
Photo: Paul Kane via Getty Images.