Adam Simpson's future on the West Coast has been the subject of speculation for months and when the decision was finally made on Monday night, it took everyone by surprise.
Simpson has been with the Eagles since 2014 and led the club to the Premier League four years later.
Since then, the club has had a dramatic slide, finishing 17th in 2022 and now, 12 months later, is only the second wooden spoon in the club's history.
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It was widely expected that Simpson would not survive this season despite having a contract through the end of the 2025 season.
But Simpson remained defiant about his future and the club released a statement on Monday night, saying the club had faith in the 47-year-old and support him to continue the full-scale reconstruction of the fallen giants.
Should the club terminate Simpson's contract prematurely, it would be a large sum.
A payout to Simpson and a large tax component totals around $4 million, though despite recent troubles, West Coast remains one of the largest and most profitable clubs in the AFL.
It was an announcement that was met with great disappointment in AFL circles.
“Adam Simpson rose from the dead,” Jon Ralph said on Fox Footy's “On the Couch.”
“This is extraordinary. I think he was gone, I think the AFL spoke to them about the payment methods for that potential $4 million, everyone believed he was gone.
“The club have dealt with some of those issues, dealt with some of the costs, I'm intrigued.
“I spoke to his manager Shane Casley this lunchtime, Adam had no idea, he just sat and waited. It's remarkable.”
Ralph said there was still speculation the club would want to implement a Simpson succession plan in the next year or two.
The name of Dean Cox, the great Eagles player and current assistant manager at the Sydney Swans, has already been mentioned.
For now, the West Australian club confirmed the news that few were expecting.
“At today's meeting, the board unanimously agreed that Adam would remain as senior manager,” chief executive Paul Fitzpatrick said in a statement on the club's website.
“No one knows our playlist better than Adam and he has already guided us through the first phase of the rebuild.
“We are confident that he can take us forward and get us to where we want to be.
“Our season ended on Saturday night and we ended up bottom of the Premier League table. Nobody at the club likes that and we are all aware that there is still work to be done to return to the competition as a force.
“Some of the work needed to improve has already begun and will continue into the off-season and pre-season.”
“We know we have to get better at all aspects of the football program.
“We're going to go back to the draft where we currently have the first pick, and we're going to try and get some elite youngsters with that pick and others.”
“We are also open to signing players that fit our needs and list profile during the trading period.
“Adam plays a central role in our development plans to support the club's rise.”