IN THE AFTERMATH of Melbourne’s 51-point loss to Port Adelaide, the club’s chairman, Glen Bartlett, labelled his side “as soft as butter”.
Speaking to The Herald Sun, Bartlett slammed the Demons’ Round 9 performance and said a repeat of that effort wouldn’t be tolerated.
“It was disgraceful. When you pull on the Melbourne jumper, we don’t give them out in Weeties packets,” Bartlett said.
“You have to show respect for the jumper and the fans, and apart from a few blokes last night, it was an insipid performance.
“It wasn’t Melbourne-like, and it won’t be tolerated going forward.”
Bartlett continued to put the football department on notice, speaking with passion after Thursday night’s loss.
“The coach and the footy guys need to address it,” he said.
“I am sure they had a tough review, but we just can’t serve up that kind of rubbish for our fans and supporters and for footy in general.”
The bold comments were well received by Melbourne’s senior coach, who said the claims were certainly fair.
“I was pretty clear post-game that the performance was unacceptable and we need to be better as a footy club,” Simon Goodwin said.
“Our players, our coaches, everyone involved knows that, and our chairman backed that up with pretty strong comments - comments that were warranted. It wasn’t acceptable and we need to do better.
“When the chairman speaks, you’ve got to listen and it’s clear as a footy club that we want to do better.”
While Bartlett’s words were scathing, Goodwin knows the president’s heart is in the right place.
“Glen comes from an enormous place of care. He wants our club to be great – as I do, as our players do, as everyone does,” Goodwin said.
“We’re working incredibly hard to do that off the back of an incredibly disappointing season.
“We’re 3-5 this year – this season is well and truly alive.”
The article, written by Jon Ralph, put Goodwin under additional pressure ahead of Round 10, but that isn’t worrying the coach.
“I’ve spoken to Glen at length and he’s had nothing but support for myself,” Goodwin said.
“I was employed to lead this footy club with a clear strategy, and to lead us to our next premiership.
“I’m still very confident that we’re going to be able to do that. If that puts pressure on me, those comments, I’ve got to accept that.
“I take responsibility for that performance and I know where we’re where at.
“For me personally, I just want to be at my best. I want to thrive in this environment, I want to thrive under this pressure, and I look forward to the next opportunity.”