Bombers boss admits to mishandling Rutten situation as Clarkson signs with North

The Hawthorn AFL senior coach looks to his left while walking on the ground at the MCG.

New Essendon president David Barham has admitted mistakes were made as the Bombers left embattled coach Ben Rutten in the dark during their botched pursuit of Alastair Clarkson.

Key points:

  • Essendon had chased Alastair Clarkson to replace Ben Rutten as coach
  • Rutten is contracted through to the end of the 2023 season
  • New Essendon president David Barham says the club did not treat Rutten with respect

The Bombers this week audaciously attempted to lure Clarkson, the four-time Hawthorn premiership coach, as Rutten’s position hung in the balance.

However, North Melbourne announced on Friday morning that it had landed Clarkson’s signature on a five-year contract.

Rutten is contracted for the next season but his position now appears untenable after a week of chaos at the Bombers.

The 39-year-old’s future will be decided after the Bombers’ final regular-season match against Richmond on Saturday night.

Author: Ivan Robinson