There is a belief that departed North Melbourne head of player personnel Glenn Luff's recent resignation came as a result of public criticism from former Port Adelaide player Kane Cornes on Footy Classified last Monday.
Cornes was at loggerheads with the Roos' recruiting, saying "you can’t pick players off a computer screen ... Correct me if I’m wrong, I’d like to know one positive list management move they’ve made in the last four or five years.”
Speaking on Footy Classified on Wednesday, reporter Caroline Wilson claimed Cornes' remarks were the final straw for Luff.
“I am convinced now the club tried to get him to stay ... my understanding is that Glenn Luff has resigned as a direct result of what happened on Footy Classified on Monday night, which speaks to the disenchantment and paranoia at North Melbourne at the moment,” Wilson said.
“Glenn Luff apparently has said to friends that this was the final straw for him, to hear that reported.
“He believes some comments about him might’ve been leaked and he might’ve been targeted by other members of the club. Maybe the CEO, maybe one of the coaches, I’m not sure.
“Who leaves a football club on the basis of one negative comment if everything is fine at the football club?”
"My understanding is that Glenn Luff has resigned as a direct result of what happened on Footy Classified"
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) May 25, 2022
Luff, alongside national recruiting manager Mark Finnigan and national recruiting officer Ben Birthisel, completed a triple walkout at North Melbourne's recruiting department, all handing in their resignations on Tuesday.
Unlike Finnigan and Birthisel’s resignations, Luff’s departure was seemingly more sudden, with North Melbourne claiming he left "to pursue new opportunities" in a club statement on Tuesday.
North Melbourne's playing list has undergone significant turnover in the past two years, as plentiful debate surfaces over the club's rebuild plans. The Roos have delisted 17 players across the past two seasons (21 from the past four), and have traded away big names such as Ben Brown (Melbourne), Shaun Higgins (Geelong) and Robbie Tarrant (Richmond).
Recruiting and list management is arguably the most important cog in North's self-confessed rebuild, in order to acquire talent to deliver to the coaching staff to nurture and develop. But somewhere along the line there seems to have been a level of disconnect between the recruiting department's ideals and the wishes of the club management, per SEN's Sam Edmund.
North Melbourne have just been hit by a triple walkout in their recruiting department. I understand Mark Finnigan, Glenn Luff and Ben Birthisel all handed in their resignations today - frustrated at the club over its management.
— Sam Edmund (@Sammy__Edmund) May 24, 2022
The three resignations are in keeping with North's turbulent year off-field as reports surface of friction between head coach David Noble and the playing group, as well as star no.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis' decision to put off contract talks and travel to Adelaide earlier this month.
It is difficult to watch for North fans, who find themselves battling several off-field incidents while they struggle to cobble any on-field form together, leaving the Roos at 1-9 after 10 rounds.