Essendon president Paul Brasher steps down in fallout from 2022 AFL nightmare, but does this pave the way for master coach Alastair Clarkson to take over from Ben Rutten?
Essendon president Paul Brasher has resigned as the fallout from the Bombers’ disastrous 2022 AFL campaign continues.
A day after they were humbled in an 84-point smashing at the hands of Port Adelaide, Brasher is standing down amid speculation all is not well at board level.
Watch Tom Browne’s report in the player above
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The board will meet later on today to decide their future.
It was a second consecutive embarrassing loss for Essendon, having fallen by 27 points against GWS in their previous outing.
Brasher’s exit would appear to put coach Ben Rutten’s job in the firing line, with the president having publicly backed in Rutten through the club’s football operations review.
7NEWS reporter Tom Browne suggests the big Victorian club could now make a big play for four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson who is also being wooed by North Melbourne and the GWS Giants.
Brasher had previously declared the review would not oust Rutten and that he would see out the final year of his contract, adding the review would focus on support the football department rather than culling from it.
Essendon announced a review after winning just two of their first 11 games this season, led by football director Sean Wellman.
The Bombers had improved in recent times and lifted their record to 7-12 before the recent poor results.
The underwhelming season follows on from an impressive 2021 campaign where Essendon defied pre-season expectations to make finals
After the Power defeat, Rutten admitted it was a performance level the club could not tolerate.
Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd said the Bombers “couldn’t be any further” from being a great football club, and called for a complete external review.
“It’s been a disaster of a season … when you play with no spirit, and you play with no heart, it’s the way you lose,” he told AFL Media.
“That was as bad a loss as you could ever imagine with the lack of spirit, the lack of defensive pressure that they played with and that’ll fall on the coach.
“You’d expect something has to give whether it’s at board level, administration level, the coaching staff, you just can’t accept performances like that.”