AFL 2024: Luke Beveridge contract, Western Bulldogs coaches, relationship with Chris Grant, football review, under pressure, new report

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Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge reportedly has a “frayed” relationship with executive director of football Chris Grant ahead of a defining season.

Beveridge is contracted until the end of 2025 but enters the 2024 season expected to lead a club rebound after missing the finals.

The Dogs’ struggles in 2023 led to a review of the football department, which resulted in some role changes in a bid to maximise performance and cohesion in 2024.

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Nine News’ Braden Ingram said on Thursday the relationship between Beveridge and Grant had been a casualty of a difficult year, which included the decision to part ways with long-time employee Rohan Smith despite Beveridge’s opposition.

“I can tell you tonight the relationship between head of football Chris Grant and Luke Beveridge has been strained,” Ingram said.

“It’s well known Beveridge wanted to keep departed assistant Rohan Smith last year, but Grant and CEO Ameet Bains had a different view, this contributed to the frayed relationship.

“After employing Matthew Egan from Geelong as coaching performance manager, the Dogs promoted him just months later to general manager of footy ops following a review into the football department, meaning basically Beveridge doesn’t report directly to Grant but instead Egan.”

Ingram noted the arrangement was “highly unusual” in the eyes of several other clubs, barring St Kilda where Ross Lyon reports to club president Andrew Bassat.

“The Dogs say the change was made to ease the workload on Grant, but it’s fair to say the relationship between the two men is no longer the strongest,” Ingram said.

Originally published as ‘Frayed relationship’: Report claims tensions at Dogs between Bevo and footy boss