Ben Rutten’s manager Adam Ramanauskas has hit out at the treatment of the embattled Essendon coach amid the Bombers’ audacious and unsuccessful pursuit of Alastair Clarkson.
Rutten’s position at Tullamarine hangs in the balance as the Bombers attempted to lure Clarkson, the four-time Hawthorn premiership coach.
The 39-year-old is contracted for next season but it didn’t prevent Essendon from pursuing Clarkson, who opted on Friday to coach North Melbourne ahead of the Bombers.
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Ramanauskas, who played in Essendon’s last premiership back in 2000, is staggered by how his former club has handled the situation.
He labelled the treatment of Rutten “poor” and “really disappointing”.
“The behaviour and way he’s been treated is fundamentally not right,” Ramanauskas told RSN on Friday.
“Whether that’s Ben Rutten or another senior coach, there’s only 18 of these jobs available in the country, it’s a very high-pressure job.
“The way you treat these individuals is critical to the success of your football club.”
Ramanauskas claims the club, and David Barham, who replaced Paul Brasher as president on Monday amid board turmoil, had failed to inform Rutten of their intentions.
“It’s fair to say Monday and half of Tuesday were pretty difficult days because no one was telling (Rutten) what was going on,” Ramanauskas said.
“He was reading on Monday he was sacked, and there was nobody who was telling him otherwise.”
Clarkson expressed embarrassment and regret the day before about how his move back into AFL coaching had played out.
“With the situation around ‘Truck’ (Rutten), he’s still got a year of his contract to run and it’s quite embarrassing being the centre of attention in a situation that is just so difficult for both him and his club,” Clarkson told Ten News on Thursday.
“I’d prefer to be able to get off the back page, and I know full well that this circus will all end once I can make a decision, one way or another.”
Rutten is due to front the media at a yet-to-be-confirmed time at Essendon’s headquarters on Friday.