Bolton fought back tears at a media conference today while saying he understands why Carlton sacked him as coach of the struggling AFL club.
“I am obviously disappointed but I understand the reality of this caper,” Bolton told reporters.
“The win-loss challenges got too much … it’s another Carlton-first decision, so that’s the way it is.”
Bolton was told of his axing after club hierarchy held crisis meetings this morning.
Assistant coach David Teague – a former Crows assistant – will be the Blues’ caretaker coach for the remainder of the season.
Bolton coached Carlton to just 16 wins from 77 games
“The club has been really united through a really long rebuild,” he said.
“I’m sure if this group stays united the results will come.”
Until today, Carlton president Mark LoGiudice had maintained the Blues would keep the faith in Bolton, who was in his fourth year as coach of the club.
But LoGiudice said after Sunday’s lame loss to Essendon, he sought out other powerbrokers at the club.
That defeat left the Blues with one win from 11 games this season and Bolton with an overall winning percentage of 20.78 – the third-lowest of any senior VFL/AFL coach to have been in charge for at least 60 games.
“The club was left with no choice but to make the difficult decision,” LoGiudice told reporters.
“The lack of wins means the club has fallen short … Carlton cannot afford to sit back and wait any longer.”
LoGiudice had been adamant throughout the season that Bolton had the unwavering support of the board.
But Carlton fans have grown increasingly impatient with the lack of improvement and former coach David Parkin said today the club has to consider the big picture.
“I am absolutely certain that all clubs at the stage which Carlton gets to now have got to consider the implications for making or not making a decision which is looking to the future,” Parkin told ABC radio.
“Pressure comes from the big picture of the people who are trying to raise money, sell memberships, keep members happy. You mightn’t think that that should be a consideration but I’m telling you, it is.
“He’s a fine young bloke and he can coach, there’s no doubt about it. I hope that he’s protected in all of this but that’s the business he’s in.
“I’ve been sacked four times and it ain’t much fun, I can tell you that. But that’s the reality of the business he happens to be a part of.”
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