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This whole Stephen Silvagni saga, doesn’t sit comfortably with me

By December 5, 2019No Comments

This whole Stephen Silvagni saga, doesn’t sit comfortably with me. Whilst I’m not a big fan of petitions, I don’t begrudge those who put it together and signed it, clearly those who did, and many others I have noted through social media commentary feel that there is an injustice at play
There are always two sides to every story, right now we haven’t really heard any story, so perceptions are based on media commentary and for me some other information that I have access to. Yesterday’s press release, was pretty limited and gave the reason for his departure as his conflict of interest by having Jack and Ben at the club….. I smell a rat.

Firstly to SOS, arguably no bigger surname in the club. A club legend and Carlton and AFL team of the century member. Little wonder the fans are siding with him, add to this this last five years of list management in our first full rebuild has only seen his status elevated and after the Brett Ratten fiasco, the club administration are an a hiding to nothing by severing ties with SOS.

The club media statement made no mention of SOS wanting to stay, just that they had… “The difficult decision to not enter into a new contract with Silvagni as GM List Management and Strategy centred around the increasing complexity of having two sons on the playing list”

This apparent conflict has previously been addressed by SOS when Jack and Ben were drafted. No doubt there is a conflict, like in so many areas of footy (remember the AFL CEO wanting Coniglio to stay at GWS) but I find it baffling that if it came down to say a decision to delist Jack, that professional people couldn’t make that decision. Like he was when they recruited Jack, SOS excluded himself from these dealings. Let’s face it though, the father son rule was put in place for a reason and we were never not going to recruit his sons if they showed any sign of being able to play decent footy.

The Carlton press statement also mentioned not being able to participate in Match Committee. It was my understanding that he didn’t participate in match committee or selection discussions.

So to the Elephant in the room and that is the speculation that SOS has had a falling out with Cain Liddle and also issues surrounding being excluded from recruitment discussions on Brandon Ellis and Tom Papley. Cain Liddle is a proven operator and in his first role as a CEO. and one I believe has made a great contribution to the club so far, but if the speculation is true as to him being involved in that exclusion then I think it’s pretty poor form. I’d love to hear from the club about this, but I doubt it, and I doubt SOS will say anything as he is too classy for that. Some have highlighted our increase in membership being attributed to Liddle, which I disagree with. Our membership numbers started increasing as the clubs membership department became more organised and professional, and also as the supporter engagement increased through fan connection initiatives and Carlton Media. This all happened under the watch of Trigg, and certainly the Boards desire to put Members and supporters first.

Unfortunately though I don’t think this saga will end any time soon and may play out further at Board level.

At the end of the day this is really a disappointing situation. One that is happening just as the club seems ready to take the next step on field. I don’t believe it will be a distraction to the team though, and with Jack in particular it might even strengthen his resolve to make it at the top level.

It is also disappointing that SOS won’t be internally part of our anticipated success. I hope though now he can kick back at the footy with Jo, have a beer and watch Jack and Ben (and maybe Tom in the future) carve out their own successful careers in the navy blue, and be pleased of what he has achieved in the last 5 years. Maybe he can now even fit some time in to have a few more sons 😉

Go Blues – Trevor Wollard.


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