Adelaide Crows great Andrew McLeod has doubled down on recent comments that he doesn’t feel accepted by the club being a past player, and is calling for a radical change in the club’s culture to fix the problem.
Questions have recently been asked of the Crows about the way they have handled their past players after McLeod said the place where he won two premierships was “not a place that you feel welcomed”.
Speaking on the Bunji and Brettster podcast, McLeod said he had been in contact with many past players who agreed with the treatment, and the 340-gamer isn’t too pleased about it.
“When you walk into the Adelaide Football Club, it’s not a particularly warm place, they’ve taken most of the old photos down, the board room, like an old office you find around,” he said.
“These rooms should tell you a story of an about the history of the people who came before us to lay incredible foundations, but no, everything has now been catalogued and if you want to see them, you have to go online to view them.
“I know I’m not alone, because in the past 24 hours, I’ve had a lot of these conversations or messages from a number of my former teammates, past officials and many of our great supporters.
“That confirms to me that something is wrong.”
McLeod, 43, wants the club to acknowledge its mistakes and take action on a change in culture around the club.
“It has to be top down, let’s see those in charge or in front office walk the walk and lead this change like it once used to be, no more spin, I’m trying to change the narrative like what has been happening in the past 24 hours by those jumping on their soap boxes and trying to angle it back on me as my issue,” he said.
Since these comments, McLeod has spoken to fellow club great and current Crows board member Mark Ricciuto.
“It’s unfortunate that’s how I feel, but happy to have a conversation like I did with Mark Ricciuto on Tuesday, telling him that our club needs tangible authenticity by creating a culture that makes you feel welcome, like you belong and are valued, no matter who you may be,” he said.
McLeod still holds a great deal of love for the club though, where he was a two-time premiership player, a two-time Norm Smith Medallist and a five-time All Australian.
“Please don’t be misconstrued, I love my club, I’m as passionate as anyone about it and I want to see it achieve great success, like the tens of thousands of people who call the Adelaide Crows their team, I want them to have a better experience with our football club,” he said.
“Right now, we need to support our players more than ever, I have since spoken with (current coach) Matty Nicks, (former captain) Taylor Walker and reiterated my support to them and we had great conversations about a lot of things.
“Nicksy knows where I’m coming from, this forms part of what he’s trying to change.
“With my hand on my heart, I just believe our club can be better and we should strive to be.”