Carlton coach David Teague says the AFL club's decision to cut ties with its VFL affiliate was a sad reality of the financial pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision to end an 18-year affiliation with Northern Blues - previously known as Preston Bullants and then Northern Bullants - effectively caused the 138-year-old club to fold.
Teague began his coaching journey as player-coach of the Bullants in 2008 and led them to consecutive VFL grand finals in 2009 and 2010.
"It was really sad for me," Teague said on Tuesday.
"I played there and I started my coaching there, so from that point of view it was extremely disappointing.
"Having lived it, I do understand the challenges that back then the Northern Bullants, Preston and now the Northern Blues (face), I do understand the challenges that they were having and it's really sad.
"In the end it became a decision that probably had to happen with the financial position the whole AFL is in right now and it's a little bit around survival.
"I was really sad, but at times you've got to make these decisions in the best interests of the club and Carlton have done that."
It appears likely that when football returns the extended football departments of AFL clubs will shrink.
An expected large cut to the AFL's soft cap means a number of jobs in the industry look set to disappear.
"The biggest challenge that I'm facing is that there are going to be some really good people that aren't going to have a job and leaving one AFL club it's going to be really hard to go to another AFL club which is in the same position," Teague said.
"If you work in other fields you can go to other companies but, right now, in football the whole industry is going through it.
"So if you worked in accounting, you could go to another accounting firm, where in football, as coaches, there's probably not many opportunities.
"I'm going to be really sad for the coaches that do miss out and even the football staff in general from a high performance and medical point of view that miss out just because of the nature of where the game is at, at the moment."