Alastair Clarkson won’t begin North Melbourne job as planned amid Hawthorn racial allegations

Alastair Clarkson won’t begin North Melbourne job as planned amid Hawthorn racial allegations

  • AFL
  • September 22, 2022
  • No Comment
  • 13
  • 3 minutes read

Alastair Clarkson won’t take up his position as senior coach at North Melbourne on November 1 as planned, instead he’ll remain away from the club while an investigation into the treatment of First Nations players during his time at Hawthorn is undertaken.

The four-time premiership-winning coach was named alongside now-Brisbane coach Chris Fagan and Jason Burt, former Hawks player development manager, in an ABC report on Wednesday.

The report, which features anonymous accounts from three players, claims First Nations players were, among other allegations, coerced into ending relationships and terminating pregnancies.

Clarkson departed the Hawks in 2021 but was lined up to return to the AFL in 2023, having recently signed a five-year deal with the Kangaroos.

North Melbourne released a statement on Wednesday afternoon to confirm Clarkson would not be taking up the job on November 1.

“The North Melbourne Football Club is aware of serious historical allegations made against individuals who worked at the Hawthorn Football Club, including incoming North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson,” a statement read.

“The matters raised are now with the AFL’s Integrity Unit and Alastair welcomes the opportunity to co-operate with any investigation relating to the claims. 

“Alastair was due to commence work with North Melbourne on November 1 however he will delay the start of his tenure to allow time to fully participate in the investigation. 

“Given the matters raised are confidential and the investigation is ongoing, the club will not provide any further comment at this time.”

Clarkson had been tasked with turning the struggling Roos around after an 18th-placed finish in 2022, though many are suggesting, if the allegations are proven, his position would be untenable.

North Melbourne’s decision comes after Brisbane and Fagan announced he would be taking a leave of absence in order to cooperate with the AFL-initiated, external investigation.

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