Crisis meeting fuels Wallace speculation - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crisis meeting fuels Wallace speculation

19/05/2009 09:02:01 PM Comments (0)

A crisis meeting has fuelled rampant speculation about the last year of coach Terry Wallace's contract at AFL club Richmond.

The Tigers denied reports on Tuesday morning that they had parted company with Wallace, either by sacking or resignation.

But Wallace and senior players missed a training session, also early on Tuesday, to attend the meeting with president Gary March and football manager Craig Cameron.

Wallace will be in charge of the Tigers for Saturday night's "Dreamtime At The `G" match against Essendon, ahead of a mid-season review at the club that will bring this turbulent situation to a head.

Tuesday morning's bizarre events followed Sunday's heartbreaking three-point loss to Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, which left Richmond equal-bottom with a 1-7 record.

Cameron and captain Chris Newman later tried to downplay the significance of the meeting, which the skipper confirmed he had requested.

"After speaking with Chris Newman last night, we thought it was important with our season at 1-7 to make sure we were all on the same page, make sure we were headed in the right direction and that we could have an open and frank meeting," Cameron said.

"(We wanted) to discuss any issues that may exist within the football department, the playing group or the football club.

"We've come out of that meeting knowing exactly where we're headed, knowing we're all on the same page and Terry Wallace continuing as coach of our football team."

Cameron also insisted that Wallace's status at Richmond had not changed since Monday night.

"There was no point in time when Terry wasn't the coach of Richmond," Cameron said.

"At no stage has our club altered from its course or altered from our public position that we have a process in place to review Terry's position, review the coaching position from 2010 onwards and we haven't budged from that position.

"Are we going to be here in four weeks? Well, I hope not."

Newman and several other senior players returned to the club after the meeting but Wallace stayed out of sight for the rest of the day.

The coach was due to front a club board meeting on Tuesday night, but Cameron said there was no longer any need because of the morning meeting.

"Fundamentally, everything he was going to speak about at that board meeting has now been covered," Cameron said.

Cameron and Newman repeatedly refused to discuss the specifics of Tuesday's meeting.

Newman also denied speculation that the crisis meeting was a result of what Wallace had said in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's loss.

"I've heard a little bit about that speculation, but he was sensational after the game, his post-match speech was really good and (he was) obviously pretty upset with the loss, as we all were," Newman said.

"I'm not going to go into specifics about what happened in that meeting (after the Port loss) - that's between the players (and the coach)."

Wallace is among seven senior coaches who are out of contract at the end of this season.

He is in his fifth year as Richmond coach and they have not made the finals in that time.

Unless the Tigers have a miraculous form turnaround, Wallace will not be their coach next year and it is becoming increasingly unlikely he will make it to the end of this season.

The Richmond board discussed Wallace at its meeting on Tuesday night, but March said it would not make a final decision on the coach's future until round 11 or 12.

"We've said ... mid-year we'd be in a position to make a decision on our future going forward to 2010 and beyond, and nothing's changed from that," he said.

March also tried to play down the significance of Tuesday's meeting between he, Wallace, Cameron and the players.

He said it was not unusual for meetings to be held away from the club at his office, and said it was not imperative the players attended training, as the session was optional.

March said the meeting was called to "see how we could turn our season around".

"We've won one game and that's not acceptable to the football club, to the football department, to the board, the administration or our supporters and we needed to address that," he said.

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