ADELAIDE’S week from hell has Crows fans now coming to terms with the looming possibility that Eddie Betts will leave the crisis-stricken AFL club.
Asked about a front page media report that has him returning to Carlton, Betts’ response was he is contracted for next season.
Still five weeks out from the start of trade period, speculation about the much- loved goalsneak’s future has reached fever pitch.
“What article is it? There have been plenty, haven’t there,” Betts said on Friday.
He did confirm on Thursday that Gold Coast are interested, citing a potential package deal that would also involve Hawthorn veteran Shaun Burgoyne heading north.
But for now, Adelaide say Betts is staying put.
Crows football manager Brett Burton said Betts’ season exit interview went well this week.
“We haven’t heard anything different, he had a really good exit meeting with the coaches on Wednesday and that was all positive,” Burton said.
“He said he was looking forward to playing on (with Adelaide) next year.”
But the Crows football boss also acknowledged that given what can happen in the trade period, Betts’ football future is far from confirmed.
“It’s the silly season, with plenty of moving parts,” he said.
“That’s why the news is out there and it’s just part of the industry.”
Burton was asked what would happen if Betts asked for a trade.
“We’d assess that. Obviously we love Eddie and love what he brings to the team and the town,” he said.
“We contracted him for a reason, because we want him to be here next year.”
Betts was dropped in round 19, for the first time since the free agent debuted with Adelaide in 2014.
The small forward has played 316 games for Carlton and Adelaide.
Meanwhile, there was some positive news for the Crows on Friday, with two AFL heavy hitters joining the external panel that will review the club.
Jason Dunstall, a key figure in Hawthorn’s four-premiership era, will chair the committee and former Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich will also be involved.
The Crows’ dismal week started with their season-ending loss to the Western Bulldogs.
Football director Mark Ricciuto swiftly apologised post-match on Sunday but added a minority of disgruntled Crows fans should support another team if they do not like the way the club is being run.
The club has commissioned a wide-ranging external review to look at what has gone awry after Adelaide lost seven of their last nine games to finish 11th.
Little has gone right for the Crows since 40 minutes of poor football cost them the 2017 grand final.
But the additions of Dunstall and Pavlich gives the review panel considerable clout.
“We hear and acknowledge the concerns of our members and fans, and share their frustration regarding recent on-field performances and this will be a rigorous and thorough process,” said Crows chairman Rob Chapman.
The review is expected to take several weeks.
© AAP 2019