Demons ditch Neeld and start hunting for new head coach
FORMER Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams is the favourite to win the top job at Melbourne after head coach creceived his marching orders yesterday.
With just five wins in his 33 games at the helm - three of those against GWS - chief executive Peter Jackson said the team's results under Neeld were "unacceptable", adding the club had become "a huge impediment" to the competition.
Jackson, who met with the AFL Commission on Friday to ask for a multi-million bailout package of close to $3million, believed to include money to pay out Neeld's contract which had another 18 months to run, said the sacking was just one part of a total rebuild the club required.
"This is a rebuild of the football club as a whole. This is not about a single person as senior coach. It's a total rebuild, it starts at the board and goes through to personnel, and included Mark Neeld as senior coach," Jackson said.
Under Neeld, Melbourne's average losing margin was 60 points.
Despite just one win this season, against GWS in round four, Neeld maintained improvement would come, saying he was unsure why the results had been so consistently poor.
"I'm not so sure. I don't know … 18 months into a three-year contract, I would loved to have seen it out, but it wasn't the case," he said.
Jackson said the search for a new coach would start immediately, with assistant coach Neil Craig to take over until the end of the season.
Williams, former Sydney premiership coach Paul Roos, present West Coast mentor John Worsfold and Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson are some names to have been mentioned.
With the club expected to target someone with experience, online betting agency sportsbet.com.au has installed Williams, presently an assistant at Richmond, as the favourite, narrowly ahead of Roos.