CARLTON has formally requested a priority pick under the AFL's special assistance rule after finishing on the bottom of the ladder with only four wins this season.
CEO Steven Trigg made the request in writing on Thursday night and on Friday said the Blues deserved "strong consideration" for the bonus pick, despite playing finals in 2013 and finishing 13th in 2014.
A first-round priority pick could hand the Blues the first three selections in the NAB AFL Draft if they lost ruckman Matthew Kreuzer as an unrestricted free agent and received compensation at the start of the first round.
The club believes its four wooden spoon since 2002 and comparable record to the Lions over three seasons (the Blues have one more win over that period) present a compelling case for a priority selection.
"This week we have formally submitted a request to the AFL for a priority draft pick," Trigg wrote in a letter to members.
"The priority 'special assistance' rule (for a pick) is there to help equalise the playing field, by giving teams that perform poorly an additional selection.
"We certainly believe that Carlton should be given strong consideration on this by the AFL Commission.
"Moreover, a priority selection will obviously assist our rebuild by helping Carlton improve quicker – and a competitive Carlton is vital for a healthy AFL competition."
Carlton finished the season with a percentage of just 64.8 and played finals in 2013 because of Essendon's expulsion as a penalty for its supplements program.
It last qualified for finals in 2011 and faces a long rebuild under new coach Brendon Bolton after admitting to a prolonged period of poor recruiting.
The AFL changed its special assistance rule in 2012 to only award priority picks at the discretion of the Commission in exceptional circumstances.
"The decision will be based on a club’s on-field performance in recent years and any other matter the Commission regards as relevant," the rule states.
Despite speculation the Blues would let Kreuzer walk if it meant the club would receive a priority selection at the start of the first round, Trigg said the club would try to hold onto the ruckman.
"We will do everything we can to keep Matthew Kreuzer, who as a free agent has the right to assess his options," the CEO said.
"We know full well what a fit 'Kreuz' means to Carlton people. We have to be smart with all of our player calls though, (and we need good, clear information).
"So we'll keep working hard on that one over the coming weeks to get the best, long-term outcome for the club."