CARLTON has angrily denied claims from former assistant coach Tony Liberatore that it deliberately lost matches at the end of last season in a bid to secure a priority pick that ultimately led to the club securing two high-profile recruits.

Blues chief executive Greg Swann said on Friday that his club hadn’t ruled out taking legal action after Liberatore spoke out on Thursday night’s The Footy Show, the former Brownlow Medallist believing something wasn’t right at Carlton towards the end of the 2007 season.

Swann and coach Brett Ratten fronted a huge media gathering at MC Labour Park to shoot down Liberatore’s claims and try to clear the club’s name of any wrong-doing.

“The club strongly and emphatically denies, as it’s become known, any tanking in the last however many games it was alleged to have happened,” Swann said.

Carlton contacted AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou on Friday morning amid the fallout of Liberatore’s explosive claims and while Swann said his club was willing to undergo an investigation should league headquarters wish, he didn’t believe one would be necessary.

“We’ve said that if Andrew or anybody there wants to send anybody down to have a chat, [we’re] happy for that to happen, we’ve got nothing to hide,” Swann said.

Swann also backed up his club’s strict “no-tanking policy” by giving a brief run-down on the facts surrounding their 2007 season, and how before Ratten’s appointment they were clearly the worst-performed team in the AFL competition.

“From rounds 12 to round 16 the club lost by an average of 76 points per week in five games,” he said.

Coach Denis Pagan’s contract was then terminated.

Once Ratten was appointed, Swann said, the Blues’ performance not only improved, but the new coach did as he set out to do after taking control.

The Blues’ average losing margin was reduced to “about 30 points” during Ratten’s tenure towards the end of the season – something Swann believed indicated the club’s clear desire to win.

“When Brett was appointed … the mandate for Brett, and from Brett, was to look at the list, play all the kids, play them in positions that we hadn’t seen them before, because obviously our list at that stage wasn’t good enough to take us forward,” Swann said.

“And it was obviously in that period that the likes of [Michael] Jamison, [Shaun] Hampson, [Paul] Bower and [Mark] Austin all played senior football [and] we said at the time we were going to do that.”

Ratten, who was at the AFL’s season launch Thursday night and saw the Liberatore interview for the first time on Friday morning, said he wasn’t too concerned about it and was more intent on his team’s round-one clash with Richmond in six days’ time.