Kane Cornes’ criticism has been revealed as the “tipping point” behind Kangaroos list manager Glenn Luff’s stunning exit from the club.
Luff was one of three Kangaroos staffers to leave the struggling club this week, joining long-time national recruiting manager Mark Finnigan and national recruiting officer, Ben Birthisel.
While Finnigan and Birthisel’s departures were expected by the club, Luff’s exit took North by surprise, with the club’s football boss, Brady Rawlings, simply stating that he’d departed “to pursue other opportunities” in an interview with 3AW’s Sportsday.
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After Cornes took aim at Luff’s recruitment and draft choices on Monday night, The Age’s Caroline Wilson revealed that the Port Adelaide great’s comments had been the final straw.
“My understanding is that Glenn Luff has resigned as a direct result of what happened on Footy Classified on Monday night, which speaks to the disenchantment and paranoia at North Melbourne at the moment,” she told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“Glenn Luff apparently has said to friends that this was the final straw for him. He believes that the comments about him might’ve been leaked … he might’ve been targeted by others at the club. Maybe the CEO, maybe one of the coaches, I’m not sure.
“Who leaves a football club on the basis of one negative comment if everything’s fine at the football club? Clearly, Glenn Luff feels that someone at the club is out to get him. That’s a bad scene.”
Wilson’s report was backed up by Eddie McGuire, who’d spoken to Luff after his exit.
“He did mention to me that there had been a build-up and that Kane’s comments were the tipping point for him,” he told Footy Classified.
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“The simple fact is: Kane is entitled to sit there and say exactly what he said and name whoever because that’s what comes with the job. But also people are entitled to say this is too much for me, and if you’re not right for that for a million reasons, it’s time to go. It’s hot in the kitchen.”
McGuire also added that “North Melbourne people” had told him they wanted to see the club back Luff and the rest of the recruiting team publicly after Cornes questioned their moves.
The three recruiters’ exits have come in a tumultuous week for North, which currently sits 17th on the AFL ladder with a 1-9 record through 10 rounds.
North attempted to put on a united front on Wednesday, hosting an in-house Q&A session with club CEO Ben Amarfio, under-fire senior coach David Noble and Rawlings.
It was a move that was not well-received by former AFL coach Ross Lyon, who labeled the media sitting “mediocre”.
“It might seem shallow, but if I compare it to Collingwood or West Coast, the perception of North Melbourne are that they’re a battling club,” he told Footy Classified.
“For the seriousness of what’s occurring, that was nickel and dime. That was a casual couch, they were all presented differently, it was in-house, it wasn’t what I needed to see.
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“I’d need to see a professional slick outfit because every time you present it’s symbolic. To me, that’s symbolic of where they’re at. It looked unprofessional and it was mediocre.
“Front the media and sell hope and don’t give everybody an alibi. I didn’t hear any of this, ‘This is what we expected’ over the pre-season, they were selling hope.”
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