Carlton chief executive Cain Liddle has hit back at suggestions he went behind former list boss Stephen Silvagni’s back in an attempt to recruit Brandon Ellis to the club.
In a unique online members forum, Liddle – along with the likes of president Mark LoGiudice and footy manager Brad Lloyd – answered an array of questions from the Blues faithful on Monday evening.
The departure of Silvagni was at the forefront of many members’ minds, with Liddle’s involvement in the club great’s exit put under the microscope.
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Carlton purported a family conflict of interest was at the heart of Silvagni’s termination, with the list boss’ position becoming untenable with two sons on the list, and another entering his draft year.
The Blues’ justification was in stark contrast to reports that a fractured relationship between the chief executive and Blues fullback of the century was to blame for Silvagni’s exit.
Liddle’s covert meeting with Ellis was said to form part of the tension.
But on Monday Liddle quashed those reports, instead telling Carlton members he was open and transparent in his dealings with the dual premiership player, with whom he had a personal relationship.
“As has now been widely publicised, Brandon was one of a number of players who our list management subcommittee identified very early in the season,” Liddle said.
“I was involved in Brandon’s tour of Ikon. Everyone on list management was very clear of the role I was playing with Brandon.
“We had individual plans in place for each of our target players that were regularly discussed at List Management.
“I was one of Brandon’s coaches both at the Calder Cannons and Vic Metro in the National Championships, and I obviously spent a number of years with him at Richmond, so it was agreed that we would leverage that relationship in our discussions with Brandon, who was set to become a free agent.”
Ellis took up a five-year deal worth $3 million with the Gold Coast Suns instead.
Liddle also responded to claims he’d courted other trade targets, saying “all players who were approached from other clubs as part of our 2019 list management strategy were discussed and rigorously debated over the course of many months at list management”.
Too see what other questions the Carlton hierarchy were asked, click here.