Priority is to care for players: Crows CEO

Adelaide CEO Andrew Fagan and Chairman Rob Chapman addressed the media at 2pm local time today regarding the tragic death of coach Phil Walsh.

Crows chairman Rob Chapman began by thanking the Adelaide media for their understanding and their respect throughout the day.

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He said that it had been a long and incredibly emotional day for everyone involved.

“Today is about wrapping our arms around the Adelaide Football Club community,” Chapman said.

“I got a phone call at 3.30am from the police to say a tragedy has unfolded. It’s a phone call no one ever wants to get.

“We spoke to every staff member and every player.”

CEO Andrew Fagan said the feeling at the club was “shock and disbelief”, with people “walking through corridors … looking at each other and shaking their head.”

Fagan said that caring for players was the most important thing on the club’s mind.

“The only positive is that a football club is an extraordinary environment,” he said.

“The first priority is always just to care for the players.

“It would be unfair and inappropriate to ask them to play, and not just our club, it would be unfair on Geelong as well.

“There’s been an outpouring of support and we have to think about our supporter base as well.”

Chapman also said that the support from the football community has been overwhelming.

“It’s an amazing industry. Just the support this morning from the AFL, AFLCA, AFLPA, far and wide, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s humbling isn’t it? I’ve noticed Port Adelaide scarves out there,” Chapman said, fighting back tears.

The pair announced that the Crows state league match scheduled for tomorrow will also not go ahead.

Fagan acknowledged that the playing group will want to play in tribute to their late coach, but that this weekend was not the right time.

“They’ll want to get out and play at some stage. The weekend was too soon,” he said.

“It wasn’t a difficult process, I think everyone was very agreeable immediately.”

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