Adelaide football director Mark Ricciuto has quickly backtracked after sensationally daring disgruntled supporters to stop barracking for the AFL club in the aftermath of another failed season.
The Crows turned in the latest in a string of flat, dispirited performances in Ballarat on Sunday when their underwhelming season ended with a 34-point loss to the Western Bulldogs.
It was their seventh loss in nine matches and saw them finish 11th with a 10-12 record after starting the season as one of the top flag fancies.
In a stunning misread of the room, Ricciuto went on the attack on Triple M during a discussion about what happens next at the underperforming club, widely regarded as one of the most secretive in the league.
"You do hope that the supporters understand exactly what's going on," Ricciuto said.
"Whether it's the coach, the assistant coaches, the footy manager, the list manager, the high performance manager, the CEO, the chairman -- every person is trying 100 per cent.
"Now it doesn't always work out, but the club is bigger than any individual.
"That's why the supporters need to back in the individuals making decisions that they're making decisions for the betterment of the club, not for the individual.
"People throwing accusations around about looking after each other is just ridiculous.
"It does not happen and it will not happen at the Adelaide Football Club ... I don't think it happens at any AFL football club."
Ricciuto was challenged on that point by a fellow commentator.
"What do you mean there, like 'the boys club' sort of thing?" his colleague asked.
"Anything that they want to throw out ... all I'm saying is whatever decision has to be made from the top to the bottom will be made for the betterment of the football club and the supporters should back the people in.
"And if they don't well then maybe they, you know, don't need to barrack for the footy club."
Most clubs will try to placate angered fans after a season that failed to live up to expectations, but it's fair to say Ricciuto went in a different direction.
He took to Twitter in an attempt to hose down the swift and furious backlash to the comments.
"I'm sorry for my choice of words at the end ... they definitely didn't come out as intended," he tweeted.
"I respect 99% of Crows fans & their opinions, I also love the club as much as anyone possibly could that's why I do the role I do at the club.
"Listen to the full interview if you have time."
Ricciuto also contradicted Pyke, who said that he doesn't believe in premiership windows, when it comes to how long the Crows might remain in the wilderness.
"I think it might be a bit of a longer journey, to be honest," Ricciuto replied when asked if three or four list changes would spark a quick improvement.
Australian Associated Press