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Dean Bailey sacked as Melbourne coach
By Roger Vaughan
23:00 AEST Sun Jul 31 2011

Melbourne are understood to have sacked coach Dean Bailey, with the AFL club to announce the axing on Monday.

His dismissal will come two days after the Demons suffered the second-worst losing margin in the league's history.

Opinion: Media destroys two coaches in one week, writes Grant Thomas

Bailey, 44, was in the last year of his contract and Saturday's 186-point loss to Geelong prompted crisis talks among the club's powerbrokers.

There was also rising media speculation throughout Sunday about the futures of club chief executive Cameron Schwab and football operations manager Chris Connolly.

Bailey took over as Melbourne coach in 2008 and after Saturday his record was 22 wins from 83 games, with two draws.

The Demons are 11th and only a game and a half outside the top eight, but their percentage took a massive hit from Saturday's loss, where Geelong kicked the fourth-highest score in the game's history.

That disaster came one week after St Kilda thrashed Adelaide by 103 points, a result which sealed the fate of Crows coach Neil Craig.

Last Monday, Craig stepped down from the job.

While there was no official word from Melbourne on Sunday night about Bailey's dismissal, several media outlets were reporting that the Demons had sacked him.

Former Melbourne forward David Schwarz said on Sunday that the Demons should turn to an experienced coach to replace Bailey.

But Collingwood president Eddie McGuire warned Melbourne or any other club against approaching current Magpies coach Mick Malthouse, who will hand over the role later this year to Nathan Buckley.

Malthouse is set to stay on at Collingwood in a director of coaching role.

"As I drove in today, I was listening on the radio about how clubs were going to go after Mick Malthouse and Melbourne this and Melbourne that and all the rest of it," McGuire said at an MCG function before the Essendon game.

"Let me just say it once - Mick Malthouse is contracted to the Collingwood Football Club and we're an $85 million business these days, we're not mucking around.

"In the next three months as we try to win another premiership, we will take the birch to anybody who gets in our way.

"If anybody starts coming up and pulling the coat of a contracted member of the Collingwood Football Club, they will be hit with everything from legal to moral issues right across the board."

Melbourne players Jared Rivers and Jack Trengove both said on Sunday that the blame for Saturday's debacle should fall on players, not the coach.

Assistant coach and former Melbourne best-and-fairest winner Todd Viney is the favourite to take over as caretaker coach for the rest of the season.


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