AFL Trade News 2023: Stephen Silvagni ongoing rift with Carlton impacting St Kilda trade period

There appears to be a fresh twist in the sad saga that is Blues great Stephen Silvagni’s falling out with the Carlton Football Club.

Silvagni, who played 321 games at a club his father and two sons have also represented, had a bitter falling out with Carlton in 2019 when he was list manager.

Now in charge of the St Kilda list, Silvagni’s involvement is the sticking point in a potential four-team trade that includes Carlton, according to Tom Morris.

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The deal has been mooted for some time and would see Nick Coffield and Paddy Dow traded and draft picks also being swapped.

The complex deal could play out on Tuesday, but Morris explained the scenario on SEN Mornings.

“People at St Kilda are very confident it’ll happen today, as are the Bulldogs,” Morris said.

“It’ll be Paddy Dow to the Saints, Nick Coffield to the Dogs.

“Pick 40 goes to the Saints for Coffield and I think the Dogs will end up getting one or two picks back.

“Carlton is asking for a future third-rounder for Dow, even if it means the Blues have to give back a future fourth-rounder. They’re happy to do that as long as they get the future third.

“St Kilda is saying no. They’re saying he’s worth no more than a future fourth.

“Essendon are involved, they’ve worked closely with St Kilda for some time now, they’ll be involved via just changing selections.

“They will improve their draft hand via this trade.”

The sticking point is Silvagni, who still has an issue with the Blues four years after his departure in an official capacity.

Silvagni turned down an invitation to Carlton’s rooms when his son Jack played his 100th game for the club earlier this year.

“If St Kilda offered a future third for Dow, the deal would have been done in 30 seconds,” Morris said.

“They’ve offered a future fourth and Carlton said, ‘okay, what about a future third and we’ll give you a future fourth’, and St Kilda has said no.

“There is the subplot here of Stephen Silvagni and Carlton and it is certainly real. Speaking to the people in this situation, it is real.

“The optics are he doesn’t want to feel like Carlton is beating him on a deal and they can deny that forever, but that’s how people feel around the situation.”

It appears this fickle impasse could be a real sticking point as the clubs attempt to get this trade over the line ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.

Details of the bitterness at the centre of the Silvagni-Carlton fiasco emerged in late April this year when the champion fullback prepared to face his former club while wearing St Kilda colours for their clash at Marvel Stadium.

The situation was brought to the surface last month when Silvagni refused that offer to celebrate son Jack’s milestone in round one.

The Silvagnis are synonymous with the Carlton Football Club, and the family have had a strong presence at Princes Park dating back to the early 1950s, with three generations of the family wearing the navy blue No. 1 jumper.

It’s why Silvagni’s reported decision to stay in the car as his son was honoured for his milestone match has left many fans sad.

There has also been an argument that the man popularly referred to as “SOS” didn’t want to steal attention from his son’s big moment by walking into the sheds and attracting glances.

There are no issues within the family. Stephen Silvagni’s dislike is directed purely at his former football club, it has been widely reported.

In April, The Herald Sun revealed new details on exactly how destructive the situation was before Silvagni was pushed out the door in 2019.

The report identifies several significant factors for why Stephen Silvagni isn’t involved with the club he played 321 games with, including:

— Silvagni is not close with many of his former teammates with one source telling the newspaper he is one of the reasons that a reunion for the 1995 premiership team would be a hard thing to organise.

— There are still rifts that have not been mended at the football club from when the 2002 salary cap scandal brought the club to its knees. It prompted Silvagni to join Ross Lyon’s coaching staff at St Kilda in 2007.

— Silvagni remained a power largely unto himself at Carlton before his power struggle with former chief executive Cain Liddle.

Silvagni was tempted to return to Carlton from a role at GWS in 2014 as the Blues’ list manager when close friend Mark LoGiudice took over as president of the club in 2014.

The boat began to rock when Jack was drafted in 2015 as a father-son selection.

Ben Silvagni also joined the club in 2018 as the No. 70 overall pick. He was delisted at the end of the 2020 season.

Friction emerged between Stephen Silvagni and former coach Brendon Bolton in 2019 after Jack Silvagni was dropped from the team early in the season.

A source told The Herald Sun the squabble between Silvagni and the coach was a “car crash waiting to happen”.

Halfway through the 2019 season the crash occurred.

The situation between Silvagni and former chief executive Liddle was reportedly “toxic”.

Silvagni’s close friendship with LoGiudice meant he was able to go above the heads of other people at the club. Liddle took a stand.

“SOS doesn’t like to be challenged and doesn’t like to be held accountable,” an “observer” told The Herald Sun.

“When you’re a champion of a club and you have been treated like your s**t doesn’t stink for so long, you think you can behave like that.

“Cain Liddle was the first one to stand up to him.”

Despite their close friendship, LoGiudice ultimately sided with Liddle when the chief executive told Silvagni he was not wanted.

The friendship between Silvagni and LoGiudice did not survive. They are reportedly no longer on speaking terms.

Silvagni said in 2020 it was an accusation from Liddle that stung him the most on his way out the door.

“What hurt me the most … probably when your president has a chat to you and he says I’ve fought for you, that the CEO felt as though I would sabotage the trade and draft period,” Silvagni said.

“I hate talking about myself, but when you’ve played for a club for 17 years and you put your body on the line and supported the club all your life, for a person to say you’ll sabotage the trade and draft period, and for me, an outsider that’s come into the club and doesn’t know a lot about the club or me, that was probably the most disappointing out of everything that happened.”

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