Andrew Hilditch’s flick has been widely predicted and applauded. Tim Neilson, too, had to fall on his sword. But, amidst the avalanche of approval, there seems to be a question largely ignored.

Why did this apparently inevitable call take so long to be made?

And….who should cop the blame for their appointments and failures? Who supported them? Who takes responsibility for the ship going down?

Rodney Eade’s “termination” has been more contentious, but Aker – typically in that grey zone between vindictive and insightful – has insisted the ‘Scrays lop higher…up to the President David Smorgon.

It’s an interesting notion.

Maybe Hilditch and Eade have reached the end of their tenure. But does the buck stop there?

Are the real culprits accountable?


  1. John Butler says

    I blame Brett Thornton.


  2. People will be in positions of power and will make errors. I don’t have a problem with that; we all cock things up. What I don’t like is the evasive actions that occur when it all goes wrong.

    Journalists and commentators have the mighty benefit (often) of hindsight when they make their pronunciations. Its easy for them to lay blame whilst looking in the rear view mirror. Generally speaking though the blame lies in the same place each time – the culture. This is where leaders can make their best decisions. Get the culture right and you get the club right. I reckon Geelong is a classic modern example of this.

  3. John Butler says


    I think I’ll stick with blaming Thornton.

  4. Agree with Dips in that mistakes will be made. But if the direction of the club is right, as is its culture, these mistakes can be absorbed.

    JB, I don’t blame Bret Thornton (Period), I blame Ian Collins.

    A stranger at the Docklands on Friday night overheard me mutter something half-way offensive about the stadium and replied “F*@#ing Collo.”

  5. John Butler says

    I’m being tongue in cheek about Thornton. I think.

    I’ll disagree Litza.

    Without Jack there would have been no Collo (in the terms you mean).

  6. I thought Eade made a reasonable observation about his tenure being cut short, that Thompson (Cats) and Malthouse (Pies) took ten years to win a Premiership for their respective clubs.

    In Thompson’s case, if you recall, his blood was being bayed for mid-way through the season he finally delivered the most coveted of trophies.

    The Pies have created a fascinating managerial dilemma with Malthouse and their decision to instigate (what they believed was) a reasonable and respectful process to nominate his replacement two years before it would take effect. Malthouse being the stubborn bum that he is threw the ultimate spanner into the works by delivering Premiership post haste. And is in line to deliver a second, and or consecutive premiership. If he does so, the Pies will be in the unenviable position of replacing a dual Premiership coach with an untried coach. Or, put another way, they will ask a Coach who delivers two premierships to a club that has only won one other in 50 years to step down because of a succession plan. Wowee.

  7. The “culture” is always retrospectively great after a team wins the GF. Did the Saints culture cause Lenny Hayes kick to deviate in the first GF last year? Had it gone through would we be praising their culture? Doubt it.

  8. Dunno Crio,

    but the Lybian rebels seem to be about to join the party.

  9. my interest here was that Hilditch’s axing seemed universally accepted and applauded….”way overdue”, seemed the consensus.
    So who gave him the job and protected him? Are they accountable?
    It is a valid query across sport and politics where the powerbrokers can be “faceless”.

  10. I blame Litza for not blaming BThornton for the things he was forseeably going to be responsible for, having been forgiven for the things that he had clearly been retrospectively responsible for.
    Similarly I find Woosha, Kerr, Nicoski and Lynch for being laggard in responding to my inspirational urgings to play at the level that I clearly felt them no longer to be capable of. Its taken me 3 years to get through to you!!
    The Avenging Eagle claims that their response time is still superior to your recalcitrant scribe. She is the forgiving type – lucky for both Eagles and me.

  11. John Butler says


    You’ve convinced me. I blame Litza too.

  12. I have nothing to add, other than my family is sticking by me at this difficult time.

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