CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?
BRISBANE CEO Greg Swann stands by the shake-up at the Gabba, declaring tough decisions must be made to drag the club out of the AFL cellar.
Former Lions captain Jed Adcock will leave Brisbane at the end of the season after being told by senior coach Justin Leppitsch this week he could no longer command a place in the club’s best 22.
Out-of-contract Adcock will join ruckman and free agent Matthew Leuenberger and midfielder James Aish in bidding farewell to the club.
Adcock, 29, is keen to play on in the AFL and enters the player market as an unrestricted free agent.
Football manager Dean Warren finished with the club yesterday while head of welfare, leadership and culture Manny Lynch has accepted a redundancy and will leave next week.
The imminent departures follow a Melbourne media report of a rift between captain Tom Rockliff and his deputy Dayne Zorko, and speculation a number of players want out of the Gabba.
But Swann emphatically rejected suggestions the club was in crisis and on the brink of a player exodus.
Swann said the club would be “kidding itself” if it sat idle after recording only three wins in 2015.
He said there should be a natural level of dissatisfaction with results this year and a determination to do whatever it took to climb back up the ladder.
“We make no apologies for making changes,” he said.
“We are finishing down near the bottom of the ladder and I would have thought that our supporters would expect us to make changes on and off the field to address that.
“So that is what we are doing. It is ridiculous to suggest we are in crisis. What we are doing is by design.”
A host of players are off contract at the end of next year and club insiders suspect the rumour mill swirling around the club is being driven, to an extent, by player managers agitating for a larger slice of the pie for their clients.
Zorko said criticism of the captaincy style of Rockliff – who was voted into the role by his peers to replace Adcock – was “way off the mark”.
It was a “laugh” to suggest that he and the skipper were at odds.
“Rocky goes about things really well as captain of this footy club,” Zorko said. “We have been good mates for a while and will continue to be.”
Zorko is in talks about extending his contract with Brisbane while Swann is confident ruckman Stef Martin will also stay with the Lions.
It was suggested to the Gold Coast Suns six weeks ago they could pick up Zorko in the postseason trade period if they were interested.
Midfielder Jack Redden has been floated as another player who wants out but he has not requested a trade and is contracted for 2016.