ST KILDA chief executive Matt Finnis insists Alastair Clarkson is not on the club's radar despite Nick Riewoldt urging them to touch base with the master coach.

The Saints have started negotiations with Brett Ratten over a new contract that is likely to have the 50-year-old remain at the helm beyond this season.

Ratten has steered the Saints (8-3) up to fourth spot at the halfway point of the season – his third full year in charge – after a disappointing campaign last year.

St Kilda great Riewoldt supports an extension for Ratten but also believes the club would be "derelict in your duty" to completely bypass Clarkson.

Brett Ratten in his time as a Hawthorn assistant to Alastair Clarkson. Picture: AFL Photos

The four-time Hawthorn premiership coach has indicated he is open to a return to the caper next year.

"It's not something that's on our radar at all," Finnis said.

"We've got a model in our football department where it's not all about one person and it's not all about 'the coach is the hero'.

"It's about the coach as a model leader of an entire program and Ratts is the perfect person to do that because he understands the importance of bringing people on a journey.

Brett Ratten addressing his players during St Kilda's clash with North Melbourne in round 11, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"He understands that he can't be everything to everyone and we've got a wonderful mix of great people, led by Ratts, which is our model at St Kilda.

"We think we've got the right man to lead that."

Ratten initially took over as caretaker when Alan Richardson departed in 2019 and was then handed a three-year contract, which expires at the end of this season.

Riewoldt, the club's longest-serving captain, lauded the Saints' game style, spirit and resilience under Ratten this season but said the lure of Clarkson is impossible to ignore.

Alastair Clarkson looks on before the R23 clash between Hawthorn and Richmond on August 21, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"You'd make the call to gauge interest for a start," Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.

"I think you'd be derelict in your duty if you didn't make the call.

"If Alastair Clarkson was busting to get to your football club, then I think you'd make the phone call."


Finnis would not be drawn on the length of Ratten's new deal but said all parties are comfortable with where negotiations sit.

"The way you've seen Brett coach the first half of the season, he's incredibly secure in the role," Finnis said.

"He's blooding young players and we're very much about now as well as the future."

Mitch Owens celebrates a goal with teammates during St Kilda's win over North Melbourne in round 11, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Finnis was speaking at the launch of the second annual Spud's Game, to be held when St Kilda takes on Essendon in round 14.

It is played in honour of club great Danny Frawley, who died in September 2019.

The initiative, in collaboration with Movember, helps raise awareness and funds for mental health and suicide prevention programs through the Danny Frawley Centre.

Saints players kick-started this year's fundraising with a $10,000 donation.