Severe penalty for any AFL tankers
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou says the league will come down severely if any club is found to have tanked.
Demetriou has ruled out a moratorium, under which any clubs that have deliberately lost games to gain high draft picks in the past would be able to admit to it with immunity.
But he says he is yet to hear anything to change his view that it has never happened.
“If I’m proven to be wrong, that’s fine by me because – if someone wants to come forward and provide evidence – then we should investigate it,” Demetriou told Fox Footy on Thursday night.
“My view is that (tanking) hasn’t existed, that people have experimented, list management, whatever you want to call it.”
The issue resurfaced this week when Carlton’s Brock McLean said he left his former club Melbourne at the end of 2009 because he was uncomfortable with the approach the Demons took late in his final year there.
They lost six of their last seven games, which earned them a priority draft pick.
“They don’t call it tanking – we would call it experimenting or whatever it was. It just went against everything I was taught as a kid, taught as a footballer and as a person,” McLean said.
McLean has subsequently been interviewed by AFL integrity manager Brett Clothier, with the investigation yet to be finalised.
Demetriou said if any club officials had wanted their team to lose for draft benefits, they would have been “stupid” and “delusional” as they would have been creating a losing culture that might take years to undo.
But he said if it had happened and could be substantiated, clubs at fault would pay a heavy penalty.
“I don’t think you can accept the tainting of the integrity of the competition, whatever the issue,” Demetriou said.
“If you’ve got information and you can sustain that information, then you deal with it and you deal with it severely.
“If Brock McLean’s got information, apparently he’s said that he was happy to speak to Brett Clothier, good.
“Brett Clothier can then deal with what his next steps are.
“He’s got a very sophisticated system of interrogation and investigation – we do it in other areas.
“I’m glad that they’ve gone down that track and I’ll await the outcome.”© AAP 2013