Dustin Martin and Toby Nankervis look dejected after Richmond's loss to the Western Bulldogs at the MCG in round nine, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

CHAMPION goalkicker Matthew Lloyd says Richmond needs to load up with top-end draft picks to help rookie coach Adem Yze rebuild the club, especially if two-time premiership player Liam Baker departs at the end of the season.

Lloyd told AFL.com.au's Access All Areas that the Tigers have "got problems everywhere" on the field and described their performance against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night as "insipid", while chief football correspondent Damian Barrett is more concerned about the club's off-field instability given the looming departure of CEO Brendon Gale.

Richmond's 91-point thrashing at the hands of the Bulldogs in round nine has left the Tigers with a percentage of just 65.6, with only lowly North Melbourne below them on the ladder.

Lloyd questioned Yze's post-game assessment that he couldn't fault his players' effort against the Dogs, adding the club may need to quickly shake up its list.

"I was watching it and I was thinking, 'what are they trying to do? Why don't they shift the ball off the line?'. Because they just kept kicking down the line to Liam Jones and Luke Cleary and Alex Keath," Lloyd said.

"There were senior players who didn't really have a crack.

"I'm strong as well, like a lot of people (on) how (did) Adem Yze sit there after the game and say ‘our effort was fine’?

"We (in the media) let them off the hook a fair bit, when they were one win and seven losses, because they had a lot of injuries and they're evolving as a team. But that was an insipid performance the other night.

"You need to keep the right senior players and you need enough senior players because you don't want to cut too deep. But if Liam Baker doesn't want to be there, I'd be getting as many top-20 draft picks as possible to help Adem Yze in this next five-year period."


The impending departure of Gale to join the new Tasmania club follows the exit of head coach Damien Hardwick, president Peggy O'Neal and senior players Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt, who were key pillars of the club's triple premiership era.

Speaking on Access All Areas, Barrett said there is an "attitudinal problem" among the playing group and added his belief that Gale should no longer be involved in any key decisions about the club's future.

Brendon Gale, Adem Yze and John O'Rourke during Richmond's team photo day on February 21, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"You've had Cotchin and Riewoldt coming out of the system, Hardwick just bailing, Brendon Gale will be the CEO of another football club come January 1 next year," Barrett said.

"They've checked out, they've long checked out.

"I'm not questioning their individual motives to leave. And Gale could not have done anything more, Hardwick could not have done anything more. But it's left Yze in a really problematic position.

"I think there's an attitudinal problem on the playing list at the moment. Shai Bolton is not playing well. Dusty Martin, maybe he's just come to the end. But these are questions that need leadership off-field as much as they do from a coaching perspective.

"And Brendon Gale, in my eyes, shouldn't be having a say in what happens with Dusty Martin and other contracts because he's not going to be there.

"The problems for Richmond are now not his and he's checked out."