North Melbourne axe coach as financial strain of COVID-19 continues

North Melbourne has let go of AFLW coach Scott Gowans. Steve Bell/Getty Images

North Melbourne AFLW coach Scott Gowans is the latest football figure to lose his job as the financial strain of COVID-19 continues to take its toll on the league.

Under a cost-cutting restructure of the Kangaroos' football department, Darren Crocker will now operate in dual-capacity as the club's AFLW coach and scout for the AFL side.

"After a thorough review of the club's structure under a new AFL economy and resourcing restrictions, North Melbourne has made the difficult decision not to renew the contract of AFLW coach, Scott Gowans," a club statement read.

Gowans had held the Kangaroos' head coaching role since 2017, despite the team not joining the expanding competition until the 2019 season.

North Melbourne's general manager of football, Brady Rawlings, said it was a difficult decision the board really didn't want to have to make.

"The discussion with Scott was one I truly wish we didn't have to have, but we're operating under new rules with less flexibility," Rawlings said. "Scott has been a tremendous contributor to the club and our AFLW program.

"This circumstance has come about through no fault of his own and we sincerely thank him for his passion, commitment and hard work during his time at Arden Street.

"Unfortunately for Scott and so many others across the industry, we and other clubs have been forced to make some very difficult and hard decisions."

Crocker will commence as North Melbourne's AFLW coach from November 1