Chapman told The Age that the review had focused on relationship issues, Dunstall having interviewed the majority of players on the list. The review specified that there would be a new head of football and also a head of “leadership and culture’’ – the latter a reflection of the relationship issues that the Crows found had caused their steep decline in results since the 2017 grand final.
‘‘Where are the issues that this review has raised?’’ Chapman asked. “Frankly it’s a series of little things, but they do all revolve around the dynamics of the football department and in particular relationships.
‘‘In high-performance world, where expectations are great, where (you are) heavily scrutinised, when things aren’t going well and you haven’t got solid relationships, you’re not going to be operating at your optimum and I suppose that’s what the review highlighted for us.
‘‘As a consequence, we just needed to have change. You overlay that with the new coach coming in and the necessity to have clean air – and not to keep bringing up things like the failure of 2017, the Gold Coast camp, everything else that’s transpired since then, this is a clean start for them, this a clean start for the remainder of the group … to give them the best chance of success.’’
Chapman said Dunstall had found that the issues were isolated to the football department, when asked about the responsibility of the board and the CEO.
‘‘Jason, in particular, examined what processes we had in place from the board down to management, into the football department … everything that impacted team success.
‘‘I think he said ‘this isn’t broken, this is isolated to the football department and pockets in the football department’ and I would concur with that.’’
The Adelaide chairman said change was needed and it was unfortunate that Burton and Camporeale had been removed as a result.
‘‘The unfortunate thing then is you need to make change. And the unfortunate thing is, well where does the change come from? And it fell to Scott and it fell to Brett and I feel bad about that, because it certainly doesn’t lay at their feet. That was the change that, you know, we needed to endorse … the most important thing is we get some clean air for a new coach and some clean air for the playing group.’’
Some players had complained about the way they were treated over the past 18 months, and sources have suggested that experiences varied among the players. Some, such as Betts, Jenkins and Cam Ellis-Yolmen, have sought moves to other clubs.
Chapman said man-management skills would be a priority in the appointment of the new coach. At least four coaching candidates, all assistant coaches from rival clubs, are known to have been interviewed in recent days, including Matthew Nicks (GWS), Hawthorn pair Adem Yze and Scott Burns and Collingwood’s Robert Harvey, who was interviewed on Wednesday.
Chapman said he would meet a couple of the candidates over the next few days, with an appointment expected mid-next week, following a recommendation from the coach panel, which is a separate process to the review of football operations.
Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports journalist and chief AFL writer for The Age.