Essendon to meet on Sunday to decide Rutten’s future

New Essendon president David Barham says the club’s board will meet on Sunday to decide the future of coach Ben Rutten.

Rutten will coach the team on Saturday night against Richmond, after a week in which the Bombers unsuccessfully chased Alastair Clarkson to take over the role.

Barham refused to say if Rutten would be fired on Sunday, and said he could still coach the side in 2023 if that was the decision made at the meeting.

Barham apologised to Rutten for not calling him on Monday when he started the club’s pursuit of Clarkson.

“We have obviously got a plan B, we will meet as a board on Sunday and put that plan into action,” Barham said.

When it was put to him that supporters wanted to know what was happening now, he responded: “They will know on Sunday.”

Asked if Rutten was coaching his last game on Saturday night for the club, Barham said: “That is to be decided on Sunday.

“I don’t want to talk about that really because ‘Hurls’ [Michael Hurley] is playing his last game. That is a big deal. I want Ben to be able to coach the last game [of the season] and we would really like to win.”

When asked if James Hird was in consideration to coach the club next year, Barham said that hadn’t been discussed, and he didn’t know if Hird was interested in the role.

“I’m not sure what Hirdy has to do with it. No one has spoken to Hirdy,” Barham said. “Does he want to?”

When asked if the board knows what kind of coach the club needs, Barham paused and then deflected his answer to Sunday’s meeting.

“Yeah that’s part of what’s gonna be worked out on Sunday.”

The new president addressed the players on Friday morning. Rutten will hold also hold a press conference on Friday.

More to come

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