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Crows unhappy about "rotten couple of years": Ricciuto

Football

Adelaide powerbroker Mark Ricciuto says he’ll step aside if he can’t help rescue the AFL club from its downward spiral.

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But Ricciuto, the Crows’ football director and the club’s only Brownlow medallist, says he’s committed to help the club rise from “a rotten couple of years”.

“If we can’t do it, then I’m happy to pass the buck to someone else and give them a go to try and turn the club around,” Ricciuto told Triple M on Thursday.

“We know we have had a rotten couple of years. We’re more unhappy than you could imagine about it.”

The Crows have missed the finals in consecutive seasons since their 2017 grand final loss to Richmond.

An external review at the end of last season resulted in the departures of coach Don Pyke, football manager Brett Burton and assistant coach Scott Camporeale.

Adelaide have also lost a swag of high-profile players since the grand final loss and, in recent weeks, been criticised by club great Andrew McLeod for a poor culture.

Ricciuto on Wednesday detailed the losses of many players including forward Mitch McGovern, who walked out at the end of 2018 to join Carlton, and defender Jake Lever, who left for Melbourne after the grand final loss.

Ricciuto said both departed for more money than the Crows were willing to pay.

McGovern’s manager Colin Young hit back, saying McGovern wanted out because of the Crows’ controversial mind-training preseason camp in 2018.

“I wasn’t trying to offend Mitch McGovern or Jake Lever,” Ricciuto said.

” … Because if they get a contract offer that is higher and they get some security over a longer term, then good luck to them for taking it.

“That’s what most people in society would do if they get a couple of hundred grand more a year for five years.”

Ricciuto’s comments come as Adelaide prepare to fly to the Gold Coast on Saturday to play their next three games in Queensland while staying in a hub.

Adelaide’s season under new coach Matthew Nicks has opened with consecutive defeats, including a record 75-point loss to Port Adelaide last Saturday night.

“We’re not hiding from the fact that the team’s performance on Saturday night wasn’t at the level,” Nicks told reporters on Thursday.

“We will continue to go to work and we know we have got to get better.”

The Crows meet Gold Coast on Sunday with Nicks confident captain Rory Sloane will recover from a corked thigh and play.

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