CARLTON has been stunned on the eve of beginning a highly scrutinised search for its next senior coach, with heavy favourite Ross Lyon telling the Blues he will not be involved in the process.
Lyon had appeared one of few candidates for the club, who had made public its intentions to appoint an experienced and defensive-minded senior coach in the wake of David Teague's sacking last Thursday.
However, having revealed earlier this week that he called new president Luke Sayers to discuss the mechanics of the club's coaching selection hunt, Lyon informed Carlton on Thursday that he would not take part in the process.
The Blues continue to sound out potential options to replace Teague for season 2022 and beyond, with Sayers suggesting last week that he would approach former Collingwood boss Nathan Buckley regarding the role.
Ex-North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has also been contacted, while Carlton officials still privately believe that Hawthorn great Alastair Clarkson could be persuaded to change his mind after claiming he would take a break from football next year.
As reported on AFL.com.au, Carlton unveiled a six-person coaching selection panel on Wednesday night that would be headed by new football director Greg Williams and Blues coaching legend David Parkin.
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The selection panel would also feature board members Patty Kinnersly – a former VFLW player who is the chief executive of Our Watch, a national organisation dedicating to driving change in behaviours against domestic violence – and Tim Lincoln, who specialises in data and analytics.
Football boss Brad Lloyd and CEO Cain Liddle would also be part of the selection panel, with Lyon's name the next to be scrubbed from the list of potential successors to Teague following a brutal post-season for the club.
"I reached out to Luke and we connected … I said I just wanted some clarity," Lyon told Channel 9 on Wednesday night about his conversations with Sayers.
"They've put the panel together, but everyone says the word 'process' … there's lots of things that can go into a process. What does it look like? Is it a PowerPoint? Is it question and answer? Is it an interview? What is it?
"Anyone can run a process, it's about your quality of process and what sits within that. I said I just need some clarity and Luke was terrific. He said they were just putting some finishing touches on, which they've clearly done with the panel.
"The other part of that is clearly what the process looks like, because it's just a word. What sits within that, the mechanics and what needs to be delivered? That's what I'm unaware of and when that's put to me … then you sit down.
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"Yeah, I'm interested in the process. But I've got to make sure I fit that process."
Lyon, a 129-game player with Fitzroy and Brisbane, spent 13 seasons coaching St Kilda and Fremantle between 2007-19. He helped the Saints to Grand Finals in 2009 and 2010, while taking the Dockers to the Grand Final in 2013.