AFL would be 'very silly' to ignore Alastair Clarkson, says Jeff Kennett

Former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett, who worked with Clarkson for six years including the club's 2008 premiership, said the Hawks coach's blueprint made a lot of sense and implored the AFL to listen to him.

He also rejected the assertion that Clarkson's comments about Essendon's supplements saga were an unnecessary shot at suspended coach Hird.

"I don't see this as an attack on James Hird at all. I see it as a constructive contribution by Clarkson to the administration of the game," said Kennett, who has also had his differences with Clarkson, calling for his job to be "reviewed" after the Hawks lost to Geelong in round one last year.

"So I think the AFL would be very silly not to listen to the suggestions of Alastair Clarkson."

However, Kennett disagreed with Clarkson in relation to Andrew Demetriou's handling of the situation and that of the AFL.

Clarkson had expressed strong sympathy for Demetriou and likened his efforts to handle the saga throughout the 2013 season to "treading a pathway through a minefield".

However Kennett believed the AFL's management of the saga had been "appalling".

"I think Andrew [Demetriou] handled it [the supplements saga] very badly and I think he actually - through some of the things he said and did - added to the difficulties of the time through a lack of clarity and lack of consistency in the way he administered the code. And I think most would agree with that."

Kennett was quick to back Clarkson's comments on an accreditation system.

"I see this as an attempt by Alastair Clarkson to improve the quality of those people who are charged with the responsibility of coaching, particularly when he makes the point that you have be accredited to coach an under-age team, but you don't have to be accredited to coach an AFL team.

"He has been travelling the world now for about nine years to various sporting bodies on all sides of the globe.

"So he has drawn that position from his experiences he has observed overseas. He is making comment on what he has seen overseas which he thinks will improve the quality of the administration of the game here in Australia and giving the AFL Commission the benefit of his travels."

This story AFL would be 'very silly' to ignore Alastair Clarkson, says Jeff Kennett first appeared on WA Today.