Bombers sack football boss Dan Richardson

Essendon have sacked football boss Dan Richardson after their disappointing 2020 season.
Essendon have sacked football boss Dan Richardson after their disappointing 2020 season.

Essendon have sacked head of football Dan Richardson on the eve of the trade period, and there could be more casualties to come.

New president Paul Brasher promised to hold a brutally honest review of the club following the Bombers' slide to 13th place this year.

Richardson, who has spent three years in his role and played a major role in luring Ben Rutten from Richmond in 2017, became the first major axing.

Rutten is now the senior coach of Essendon after taking over the reins from John Worsfold.

"Dan is a good football person and has played an important role in the development of our senior coach Ben Rutten and has helped attract a number of talented people to the club," Bombers chief executive Xavier Campbell said.

"But the decision to not offer Dan a new contract was made following ongoing discussions about football performance and the future direction of our football program, and we believe now is the right time to make this change in leadership.

"The football department requires an experienced leader to oversee the next critical stage of our football program's growth and provide important support to Ben Rutten, who we have great confidence in as our senior coach."

Earlier this year, Essendon great Matthew Lloyd declared the Bombers had become a laughing stock of the competition, saying the AFL club would continue to wallow in mediocrity until they fronted up to their issues.

Essendon's internal football review, which is being led by Brasher and football governance director Sean Wellman, is expected to be completed by the end of November.

There's a growing consensus there will be others who follow Richardson out the door.

Forward Joe Daniher and defender Adam Saad have already informed the Bombers they want out, leaving Rutten with an uphill battle to get Essendon back into finals contention next year.

The Bombers haven't won a final since 2004, and they produced just one victory in their last 10 matches of the 2020 season.

Australian Associated Press