Former Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni has slammed his old club and in particular CEO Cain Liddle for the handling of his exit from the club.
Silvagni oversaw the trade and draft period for Carlton between 2015 and 2019 as the club underwent a full rebuild of its list.
He departed the club following the 2019 National Draft, with the club citing “the increasing complexity of having two sons on the playing list” for the decision.
Silvagni felt the press release the club sent out to members did not reflect what he was told internally.
“I loved my time at Carlton, other than the last three months or so and there’s some great people there. We worked really hard to build a list and get the salary cap into order,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“I think really it got messy in the end and throughout the year I’d been talking to Mark LoGiudice about moving on, whether that was at the end of last year, or at some stage this year, but that decision was made for me and that happens in footy clubs.
“I just think looking back at the press release, it just put the boys under the bus. I thought it was amateur, to be honest and really lacked any respect in terms of how you handle people on the way out.
“That was probably the most hurtful thing. I think your two biggest assets at a football club are your supporters and your players.
“The way that press release was written up I think put two players under the bus and put more pressure on them than they should have to handle throughout a season and ultimately if you used, and I’m talking about (CEO) Cain Liddle here, if he used the words he used to me when he decided not to go on with me, I would have been fine with that.
“But when you use words that weren’t in that, and I told him if that’s the reason you don’t want to renew my contract, that’s fine, but make sure you use those words they’ve used, but he didn’t have the courage or conviction.
“(I took exception to) ‘complexity’ … complexity was never mentioned to me. Ultimately the words that were mentioned to me were that it was untenable that I remain at the football club because my boys were there.”
Silvagni explosively added he was hurt by comments from Liddle that he would sabotage the upcoming trade and draft period if he remained at the club.
“What hurt me the most … probably when your president has a chat to you and he says I’ve fought for you, that the CEO (Liddle) felt as though I would sabotage the trade and draft period,” Silvagni said.
“I hate talking about myself, but when you’ve played for a club for 17 years and you put your body on the line and supported the club all your life, for a person to say you’ll sabotage the trade and draft period, and for me, an outsider that’s come into the club and doesn’t know a lot about the club or me, that was probably the most disappointing out of everything that happened.”
Read the statement Carlton put out when Silvagni departed the club below
The Carlton Football Club can confirm that Stephen Silvagni has departed from his role as General Manager of List Management and Strategy.
With his contract expiring at the end of 2019, Silvagni had been in constant and open dialogue with the Club throughout the season. Silvagni requested the Club delay any commentary surrounding his position until after the draft, a request that the Club fully respected.
The difficult decision to not enter into a new contract with Silvagni as GM List Management and Strategy centred around the increasing complexity of having two sons on the playing list. The situation is not only a conflict for the Club’s GM List Management and Strategy, but equally for those who work in and around him in the football department.
Having the most senior list management staff member unable to participate in an increasing number of discussions and decisions relating to both list management and match committee is a situation that is not in the best interests of the Carlton Football Club.
While the decision to not renew his contract was an extremely difficult one to make, ultimately tough decisions need to be made that are in the best interests of the entire football club.
Although Silvagni departs the Club in an official capacity, he does so having helped to put together the backbone of a playing list that is now well placed to earn success moving forward.
On behalf of everyone at Carlton, CEO Cain Liddle expressed a sincere thanks to Silvagni for the stellar work he had done as part of the Club’s list management over an extended period of time.
“Stephen has left no stone unturned in striving to help bring this football club back to where we need to be and that is something every Carlton person is grateful for,” Liddle said.
Carlton President Mark LoGiudice said, “Over the last five years Stephen has been at the forefront of what has been the first, complete, on-field rebuild in the Club’s 155-year history. The work he has done has been outstanding and has contributed to helping the Carlton Football Club be in a position of strength where we can pursue on field success.
“While he may no longer hold an administrative role at the Club, given Stephen’s legacy as both a player and an administrator, we look forward to seeing him remain involved with the Club as a father and a passionate Carlton person,” LoGiudice said.