After taking over the Saints' coaching job in 2011, Scott Watters found himself in the middle of a list management disaster that saw St Kilda $220,000 over the salary cap and effectively in “receivership”.
Before jumping ship to St Kilda, Watters was at Collingwood and despite being warned by fellow Collingwood list manager Derek Hine, he was left gobsmacked at the mess that was left by past administrators.
“I spoke to Derek Hine saying I am thinking of putting my hand up and said, ‘What are you thinking about the list?’, and the term he used I couldn’t use here on the podcast.
“Something I didn’t know walking into that role is that three days after walking in we were $220,000 over the salary cap.
“I was driving to a meeting with Chris Pelchen and we were trying to re-sign (full-back) Zac Dawson.
“At the time he was the only thing that resembled a key defender on our list. Zac wanted $35,000 more a season and we were basically in receivership. Under jurisdiction from the AFL not one more player on the list could be offered one dollar more.”
Unaware that he was inheriting a St Kilda list over the cap legally unable to spend an extra dollar on even retaining their players, it was a tough situation to walk into from day one.
In Herald Sun’s Sacked podcast, Watters revealed the fiasco that was left for football boss Chris Pelchen and himself to fix. This included strange contract clauses that included one-off $50,000 All-Australian bonuses added to ongoing base contracts.
As a result, Brendon Goddard, Nick Dal Santo and Ben McEvoy found themselves in the firing line, being sold and traded to rival clubs in a bid to fix issues left by previous management.