St Kilda president Andrew Bassat has released a high-level summary of findings from the club’s review of its football program.
The review commenced in late July and in part led to the decision to sack former coach Brett Ratten just months after re-signing him to a two-year deal, eventually appointing Ross Lyon as his replacement.
Ultimately, the review found the Saints “did not have the platform needed to support a sustainable winning culture”, with “significant change” needed in both the football department and club as a whole to “address concerns with the processes and fundamentals of our Football Program.”
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Bassat said the club was committed to focus more on “building the team, gameplan and culture to contend over time, even if this does make the short-term more difficult for us.”
Key to the review findings was a need to implement “clearly understood expectations, standards and non-negotiables.”
Additionally, more open and honest communication needed to be encouraged, while the board and Bassat himself were advised they could do more to challenge the direction of the football department where necessary.
Former North Melbourne list manager Glenn Luff conducted a review of the club’s playing list and list management performance as part of the club-commissioned report.
The findings were that the club’s list management strategy from five years ago – “to drive greater competitiveness initially through trades and then to rely primarily on free agency and draft to move to the next level” – was a sound one, but deficiencies had been identified and an updated strategy recommended.
St Kilda also announced as part of its review findings it would no longer sell a home game in 2023.
The decision comes after criticism earlier this season of the deal, which saw the Saints earn roughly $650,000 to play a home game in Cairns, but resulted in losses in two consecutive years.
Bassat acknowledged the review findings had and will result in “more revolutionary change than originally intended” in order to become a club that is “respected and feared”.