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'A Carlton-first decision': Blues sack Bolton after latest loss

REVEALED: New details behind Bolton's dramatic sacking Mitch Cleary and Damian Barrett on a dramatic day at Carlton

BRENDON Bolton has coached his last game at Carlton.   

After crisis meetings on Monday morning, the Blues felt they had no choice but to end Bolton's tenure 11 matches into his fourth season at the helm after a hefty loss to arch rival Essendon. 

Forwards coach David Teague will step in as caretaker coach for the rest of the season. 

Bolton joined CEO Cain Liddle and president Mark LoGiudice at a media conference on Monday afternoon where the news was confirmed.  

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LoGiudice said Bolton's disastrous record this season left the club with no choice.  

"Quite simply, the lack of wins has fallen short of what our football club expects at this stage of its development ... Carlton cannot afford to sit back and wait any longer," he said.  

"While winning does not solely rely on one individual, the ultimate accountability sits with the senior coach."

The Blues president also said that despite Bolton's failure, the club would stick to its plan to rebuild. 

"We're not starting again, we're continuing on with the strategy. The strategy isn't 100 per cent perfect all the time, changes need to be made along the way," he said. 

LoGiudice said he would not be reconsidering his position as club president after five years at the top. 

Bolton, who looked to be fighting back tears at times, said he understood the reasons behind the club's decision. 

"I am obviously disappointed but I understand the reality of this caper," he said. 

"The win-loss challenges got too much ... it's another Carlton-first decision, so that's the way it is."

David Teague will take the helm after Brendon Bolton was sacked. Picture: AFL Photos

Liddle expressed his disappointment at having to make the call on Bolton's tenure. 

"I'm devastated because Brendon is someone I care about – you wouldn't meet a person who works harder. 

"It's a sad day in one respect, but tomorrow we move forward, David Teague takes over and we look to the future."

When asked about the future of list manager Stephen Silvagni, Liddle said: "All parts of this football club, when you've won four of your past 35-odd games, are under review, certainly."

Blues list manager Stephen Silvagni has come in for criticism over the club's strategy. Picture: AFL Photos

Earlier, Bolton addressed players and staff about 1pm at Ikon Park in his last official duty as coach of the Blues. 

He was told of the decision by Carlton powerbrokers after meetings on Monday morning, when Blues head of football Brad Lloyd was spotted at LoGiudice's city offices.

Liddle and Lloyd entered Blues headquarters around midday on Monday, while LoGiudice arrived shortly afterwards. 

 

The uncertainty comes the day after Carlton's 41-point loss to Essendon on Sunday, in which the Blues scored just 33 points - the second-lowest tally of Bolton's time in charge.

Players arrived for recovery on Monday morning and were told not to address the waiting media.

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Bolton has coached the Blues to 16 wins in 77 games across four seasons. However, Carlton has won just four of its past 43 games under Bolton's guidance, including just one this year.

That stirring victory over the Western Bulldogs in round five, when the Blues kicked 100 points for the first time in almost three years, looked to have eased the pressure on the embattled coach. 

But it quickly cranked up again after an insipid 93-point loss to Greater Western Sydney in round nine, and has reached fever pitch in the wake of Sunday's defeat.

Timeline of Bolton at the Blues

June 1, 2014 – Bolton, then an assistant coach at Hawthorn, is given the reins of the senior side for an indefinite period as champion coach Alastair Clarkson battles illness. Bolton is unbeaten in his five-game stint as Hawks coach.

August 25, 2015 – Carlton appoints Bolton as its senior coach after Mick Malthouse's departure. He spent seven years as an assistant coach at Hawthorn.

March 24, 2016 – The Blues perform well in Bolton's first game in charge, but fall nine points short of Richmond in the 2016 season-opener at the MCG.

August 21, 2016 – Carlton scores its seventh win for the season in the last game of Bolton's first season as coach. It is an improvement on their four-win campaign in 2015. 

October 19, 2017 – The club agrees to trade star midfielder Bryce Gibbs to Adelaide, a year after they refused to move the former No.1 pick despite his trade request. Carlton gains two first-round picks but loses one of its most experienced and best players after a six-win season.

May 12, 2018 – Carlton ends a seven-game losing start to the season by beating Essendon in round eight. It relieves some of the pressure building on Bolton for the Blues' horror opening to the year. 

August 25, 2018 – Adelaide hands the Blues a 104-point drubbing in the final round of the season, condemning Carlton to a last-placed finish – its second wooden spoon in three years. 

November 22, 2018 – Carlton backs itself to jump up the ladder by trading its first draft pick for 2019 in a deal with the Crows to secure youngster Liam Stocker at the NAB AFL Draft. It also selects Sam Walsh with the No.1 choice.

April 21, 2019 – The Blues claim their first win of 2019, a 44-point victory over the Western Bulldogs and, for the first time in 59 games under Bolton, surpass the 100-point barrier.

May 5, 2019 – North Melbourne, which entered round seven in 17th position on the ladder, thrashes Carlton by 58 points to put Bolton's coaching future in the spotlight. 

May 19, 2019 – After a strong performance against Collingwood in round eight, the Blues again fall flat, dropping to a meek 93-point loss to Greater Western Sydney. Club president Mark LoGiudice backs Bolton but says the losses are "unacceptable". 

June 2, 2019 – Essendon thumps Carlton in greasy conditions at the MCG, keeping the Blues to four goals and their lowest score of the season. It proves to be Bolton's last game as Carlton coach.

June 3, 2019 – Bolton is sacked by Carlton, with the club ending his tenure after losing 39 of its past 43 games. - Callum Twomey

Brendon Bolton's time at Carlton

 SEASON

 W

 L

 W %

 2016

 7

 15

 31.8

 2017

 6

 16

 27.2

 2018

 2

 20

 9.1

 2019

 1

 10

 9.1

 TOTAL

 16

 61

 20.8