ESSENDON head of football Dan Richardson has become the first victim of the club's "brutally honest" review under new president Paul Brasher.
Richardson was informed on Wednesday night he had lost his job after three years in the role.
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The former Richmond head of football crossed to the Bombers ahead of 2018 and quickly set about adding a Tigers flavour to the football department.
Richardson was a key component in the club's move to secure Ben Rutten from the Tigers in 2018 and was part of the selection process that appointed him senior coach for 2021.
Richardson was also a driver in the Bombers landing Tigers assistant coach Blake Caracella ahead of 2020.
However, on the eve of Rutten's first pre-season at the helm, the Bombers have made the call to part with his strongest ally.
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"Dan is a good football person and has played an important role in the development of our senior coach Ben Rutten and has helped attract a number of talented people to the club," Bombers chief executive Campbell said via statement on Thursday afternoon.
"But the decision to not offer Dan a new contract was made following ongoing discussions about football performance and the future direction of our football program, and we believe now is the right time to make this change in leadership.
"The football department requires an experienced leader to oversee the next critical stage of our football program's growth and provide important support to Ben Rutten, who we have great confidence in as our senior coach."
"We wish Dan nothing but the best for the future and thank him for his contribution since joining the club at the end of the 2017 season."
Richardson delivered a statement following his departure.
"I believe the current coaches and football staff that have been brought into the club over the last three years puts this football program on the right path for future success and I wish them all the best," he said.
Brasher and Bombers football director Sean Wellman have been leading a review that is expected to be completed in late November.
"We had a disappointing season, and a particularly (poor) half a dozen last rounds. The coming weeks will be about listening and digging to understand exactly where we are," Brasher told the club's website earlier this month.
"We can't and won't ignore the rest of the club, who are crucial to our success and in some cases are the critical front line of contact with our members and supporters.
"We will be doing a temperature check talking to our people across the rest of the club."
The Bombers have indicated they will undergo a "targeted and thorough" process to find a senior replacement for Richardson.