Mark Ricciuto defends players critique
Mark Ricciuto defends players critique

Ricciuto defends ‘deluded’ critique of ex-Crows

Adelaide Crows football director Mark Ricciuto has staunchly defended his decision to publicly critique ex-players who have left the club in recent years, despite copping heavy backlash for his comments.

Earlier this week, the former Crows captain and Brownlow medallist said Adelaide was comfortable that Jake Lever, Charlie Cameron, Josh Jenkins, Eddie Betts, Mitch McGovern, Alex Keath and Hugh Greenwood had all left the club in recent years.

Ricciuto suggested Lever was a "$500,000 player" despite signing a five-year, $800,000 contract with Melbourne, argued McGovern had failed to deliver on similar money at Carlton and revealed the Crows were unwilling to pay "overs" to keep Cameron from moving to Brisbane.

Eddie Betts and Jake Lever were among the high-profile exits from Adelaide in recent years. Picture: Michael Klein
Eddie Betts and Jake Lever were among the high-profile exits from Adelaide in recent years. Picture: Michael Klein

 

Speaking on Triple M on Thursday morning, Ricciuto said his intention was never to offend any of the Crows' ex-players, but instead to give members and fans a better insight into the club's list management strategy.

"I was not trying to insult Jake Lever or Mitch McGovern … all I said was what we thought they were worth and what we have heard they are getting paid," he said.

"I've got nothing against those guys at all.

"I was just trying to make people understand the decisions you make in list management.

"People want people to tell the truth, people cry out for it, then when you try and give them a bit more of an insight, you get a whack (for it).

"Our members are crying out for honesty, and I'm pushing the boundaries on what I can say or can't say to give people more of an insight.

"If that's not the right thing to do, I expect Rob Chapman (Crows chairman) to say 'maybe don't give them that much', and I haven't had that yet.

"And if I do, I'm happy to change it."

Adelaide Crows football director Mark Ricciuto (right) said his comments about ex-Crows players were never intended as an insult. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images
Adelaide Crows football director Mark Ricciuto (right) said his comments about ex-Crows players were never intended as an insult. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images

Player manager Colin Young - who has both McGovern and Cameron in his stable - was among a handful of people to criticise Ricciuto for his comments, and said Adelaide's infamous Gold Coast training camp was the catalyst for both forwards leaving the club.

"Those comments that Mark has made make no sense and I am very surprised that he made them," Young told The Age.

"Why would Mitch stay loyal to the Crows and sign a three-year contract extension back in 2017, when he could have gone back home to Perth on an extremely lucrative contract?

"The reasons Mitch left the Crows was because of the camp and the Adelaide football department and that's it.

"Again with Charlie, it was not the money. Let's just leave it at that."

Ricciuto’s comments come after the Crows were thumped by Port Adelaide in Showdown 48 on the weekend. Picture: AAP Image/David Mariuz
Ricciuto’s comments come after the Crows were thumped by Port Adelaide in Showdown 48 on the weekend. Picture: AAP Image/David Mariuz

Veteran AFL journalist Caroline Wilson also took a swipe at the eight-times All Australian for his "deluded" assertion that players had left the Crows for only money, arguing on Footy Classified Ricciuto had "completely failed to accept or acknowledge that Adelaide have a problem" with culture.

Melbourne champion Garry Lyon, speaking on SEN, added "good clubs don't do their business through the media", while Essendon legend Tim Watson likened Ricciuto's comments to an "own goal".

"This is like putting something out there and then having to respond to it because you created a mess in the first place and you thrust the spotlight back on your own football club," Watson said.

Originally published as Ricciuto defends 'deluded' critique of ex-Crows



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