The following statement was released by the Adelaide Football Club on Friday, detailing changes to be made to the club after the completion of its ‘external review’.

It includes news on two major sackings from the club – Head of Football Brett Burton and Senior Assistant Coach Scott Camporeale.

They join Head Coach Don Pyke in departing the club, along with a host of players who have requested trades, and Taylor Walker standing down as captain.

It will certainly be a new-look Adelaide Crows in 2020.

— Adelaide Football Club Statement —

The Adelaide Football Club has completed a thorough and wide-ranging review of its football department which has resulted in a number of personnel and structural changes.

The review was initiated due to a decline in on-field performance over the past two years, with the Board appointing a panel of external consultants led by Australian Football Hall of Fame member Jason Dunstall, who was joined by former AFL great Matthew Pavlich and high performance experts Jonah Oliver and Dr Tim Gabbett.

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Their scope was to examine the key areas that impact team performance and to then provide key insights back to the Board to support a series of decisions aimed at creating a blueprint for sustained success into the future.

The review involved comparative benchmarking and consultation with key stakeholders within the Club including players and football department staff, covering coaching, list management, player welfare, leadership, game analysis, player development, football operations and medical. Members of the Club’s Executive Management and Board were also consulted.

Crows Chairman Rob Chapman said the six-week externally-led process had been comprehensive and ran in conjunction with a detailed internal analysis, and produced consistent findings.

“The last two seasons have been challenging from an on-field perspective and there have been too many distractions off-field as well, and we needed to clearly identify deficiencies which would shape decision making required to make positive change,” Chapman said.

“We had a clear view on what we believed to be the key issues but for a variety of reasons felt that the involvement of external consultants would help ensure the review left no stone unturned, as well as providing the benefit of a different lens or perspective.”

Both the internal and external review processes found there was no single issue solely responsible for the inconsistent on-field performance in the last two seasons, but rather a series of events or issues that, despite a number of attempts, could not be sufficiently addressed.

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Some of these events or issues were well documented publicly and others could be considered minor but they combined to compromise the quality and delivery of the broader football program.

It was noted that under pressure and the intense scrutiny of a professional sporting landscape, there needed to be a greater and more effective emphasis on maintaining, and in some instances improving, personal relationships.

The review also identified that there are a number of high-level coaching, athletic performance and football administration staff delivering effective programs across the broad spectrum of the football department. However, it importantly found some key changes were required.

After giving consideration to the review findings, coupled with an overwhelming desire to refresh the football department under the leadership of a new Senior Coach, the Board has unanimously endorsed the following:

– a change to the leadership of the football department with Head of Football Brett Burton to depart the Club

– a change to the coaching structure with Senior Assistant Coach Scott Camporeale to also leave the organisation after spending nine years in the coaching department

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– the creation of a new position, Head of Leadership and Culture, to deliver a new player leadership program across all areas of the football department, including AFL and AFLW

– some small changes within the high performance department to enhance role clarity and communication between staff, coaches and players

A series of other minor enhancements will be made across the department consistent with the normal end of year review process.

As previously communicated, Don Pyke has stepped away from the role of Senior Coach and Taylor Walker has relinquished the captaincy after five years. Both of those decisions were unrelated to the review, but together with the above, represent significant change.

“We now have a great opportunity to make new appointments to ensure that we are able to generate the balance and diversity of thought that our players need, together with an injection of resources into areas like leadership development which is increasingly important with an emerging group of younger leaders and a younger list profile,” Chapman said.

Chapman also thanked Camporeale and Burton for their significant contributions over a lengthy period.

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“People talk about the Club and the human side is often forgotten and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of both Scott and Brett, who are quality people with a great deal to offer the AFL if they choose to continue in the industry,” Chapman said.

Current circumstances require us to make change to create the clear air required to give the new Senior Coach the best chance of success, and we owe it to our Members and supporters to ensure the Club is strong and successful

“We have made some hard decisions and are transitioning into a new era, and rejuvenating what is already a talented playing list so we can hopefully achieve the ultimate success.”

The Club expects to appoint a new Senior Coach within a week. Any subsequent changes, including the appointment of new Head of Football and Head of Leadership and Culture will be made following this announcement.