Clarkson has coached Hawthorn since 2005 and has won four premierships with the club, and is still under contract until the end of 2019.
This season hasn’t started in the way he would have liked however, as his side currently sit at the bottom of the ladder, with three losses from their opening three matches.
If their form continues beyond this season, Thompson believes Clarkson will step away from Hawthorn in search of more success.
“Say they (Hawthorn) perform really poorly this year, next year they don’t go so good either, he’s got two or three years of his contract to go and he can’t see them actually winning a premiership,” Thompson said on Wednesday night on Fox Footy’s AFL 360.
“Because that’s what he wants, every coach does, and (if) he’s been offered a great job elsewhere … I think he’ll walk.”
The four-time All-Australian coach has a win percentage of 62.79% from 262 games, which is the third best of current coaches behind Chris Scott and Ross Lyon that have won over 100 matches.
Thompson says he knows Clarkson’s heart is with Hawthorn as it stands, but the dangling carrot of success may be enough to force him away from the Hawks.
Any move that Clarkson makes would not be “for the wrong reasons … he’s been fantastic for the club,” according to Thompson, who believes the 48-year-old is a loyal person.
“He’ll want to win. That’s what I think you do know, if you can be bothered to do this job you’ve got to get what you actually want out of it. And he wants to win.”