St Kilda chief president Peter Summers has denied that reported tensions between the club's head of football Chris Pelchen and senior coach Scott Watters were behind Watters' shock axing this morning.
Watters, who has just completed the second of a three-year coaching deal with the Saints, was dragged from a coaching meeting this morning to be told he was being sacked.
He had earlier gone on Melbourne radio claiming that he had been assured by board members that he was the right man for the job long term and that he and Pelchen were "aligned" on list management issues.
Facing the media this afternoon, Summers denied that the Saints had approached any other contenders for the job yet. Former Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams and Saints legend Robert Harvey have been installed by the media as early favourites to replace Watters.
Summers acknowledged the sacking of Watters was a "significant" decision.
He claimed that details of the reasons for Watters sacking would remain confidential.
Asked about Watters' reaction when he was given the news he said: "Disappointed, as I think we would all expect."
But he was adamant that personality was "not an issue in the decision" and that media reports of ongoing conflict between Watters and Pelchen had been "overplayed", although he acknowledged tensions had existed.
"They have worked together quite well," he said. "When I spoke to Scott and Chris about that, there haven't been issues."
But he said the board accepted that there had been tension between the two.
"We accept that," he said. "Tension isn't necessarily a bad thing. And it is irrelevant going forward. From what I hear their working relationship has been okay."Summers claimed the club had a list of possible coaches it planned to approach but had not made any approaches yet. It was hoped the new coach would be in place before the national draft on November 21.