The shocking news of Alastair Clarkson's premature exit from Hawthorn has rocked the AFL world, with the four-time premiership coach now set to depart at season's end at the very latest.

Following the breaking report by The Age's renowned journalism duo Caroline Wilson and Sam McClure, fans and members of the media were placed into a state of disbelief.

Many were quick to their response on social media or the radio waves, with Hawthorn fans in-particular looking to express their lament in the decision.

Speaking on SEN, host Gerard Whateley was one of many to criticise the club for their decision to part ties with their champion coach.

“It’s an unmitigated disaster,” Whateley said.

“Jeff Kennett believes he is cleverer than every other person in the room and he fancies himself as the master politician – he has failed Hawthorn on absolutely every front as he has tried to manoeuvre this.

“It’s very difficult to understand on what authority he would continue to hold the presidency at Hawthorn.

“He (Kennett) is entirely culpable for it.”

Twitter soon exploded following the news, with an outbreak balanced by shock and reproval.

One response on SEN was perhaps NSFW for listeners, but might have accurately expressed how many fans are feeling.

The news also drew attention to Wilson's hard stance on the ongoing reports of a rift at Waverley in the weeks after the announcement of a coaching handover between Clarkson and Sam Mitchell.

Many jumped to laud Wilson's stance after being heavily criticised for doubling down on her initial report.