St Kilda's coach Scott Watters will embark on the final year of his contract. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
St Kilda was forced to reassure Scott Watters his job was safe after a former long-serving Saints president claimed on Friday that he had been sacked.
Andrew Plympton, the well-connected president between 1993 to 2000, was being interviewed light heartedly at his table at the AFL Players Association's Madden Medal lunch when he changed topic and stunned the grand ballroom at Sofitel Melbourne by declaring Watters had been dumped two hours earlier.
"I hear that, that's the report I have got," he said.
When asked for any reason behind the sacking, Plympton said: "I am not sure. I am just talking to Leading Teams."
Seated at Plympton's table was Justin Peckett, the former Saint now working at Leading Teams.
Plympton later told Fairfax Media he had only been "joking".
However, his comments sparked a flurry of activity, with the Saints moving quickly to reassure Watters would at least complete the final year of his contract.
New club president, AV Jennings boss Peter Summers, and board member Andrew Thompson, who is on a sub-committee reviewing the football department, soon rang Watters to apologise and dismiss Plympton's claims.
Plympton's comments bookended a week where Watters had said he was alarmed to hear the myriad rumours surrounding his football club and declared his senior players were untouchable.
The Saints have been forced to declare contracted skipper Nick Riewoldt would not be traded, while Watters said Leigh Montagna is "a senior player who will be going nowhere", despite list manager Ameet Bains saying the club would consider a suitable trade should that be in the best interests of both parties.
Watters and his football department are also under review after a season in which the Saints won just five matches.
Watters and his manager Colin Young have opened discussions about an early contract extension, but that will be dependent on the review, involving head of football Chris Pelchen.
The Saints are also hunting for a new chief executive to replace Michael Nettlefold, and have announced they require a bank over-draft to help keep the club ticking over. They expect to post a major end-of-year financial loss.