Demons to respond to AFL tank claims

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    The AFL has asked Melbourne to respond to evidence which could lead to the club being charged with tanking for draft picks in 2009.

    The AFL said any charges that resulted were expected to be laid in late January, after the Demons have had time to respond.

    “Evidence gathered during the investigation will this week be provided to relevant parties to give them an opportunity to comment,” the league said in a statement on Wednesday night.

    “It is expected that a final decision regarding whether any charges under AFL rules are warranted will be made in late January 2013.”

    AFL investigators have already interviewed key Demons football staff and officials about the allegations.

    If the allegations are substantiated, it could lead to the AFL Commission handing down severe penalties for the club and individuals found to have been involved.

    Demons president Don McLardy said earlier this month that Melbourne planned to defend themselves against the claims.

    “I can assure you we will use every resource available to us to defend the integrity of the Melbourne Football Club in the strongest possible way,” he said.

    The long-running investigation was sparked by comments made by former Melbourne midfielder Brock McLean, now with Carlton, in a television interview in July in which he claimed “Blind Freddy” would have realised the club wasn’t trying to win late in the 2009 season.

    Melbourne’s poor record that season meant they qualified for a priority pick, giving them the first two selections in that year’s draft, under a system that has since been scrapped.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (1)

    • January 1st 2013 @ 5:25pm
      Jaredsbro said | January 1st 2013 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

      I think the issue stems from the fact that unlike virtually any other code of football or football comp of any football code there is virtually no reason for a club to try to compete if they have no chance of making the finals.

      For all the pride Australian Football fans have at their comp for being even and being their sole focus (literally unlike any other football comp in the world) there is nothing in terms of competition structure to prevent this kind of disgrace. It’s actually a wonder only Melbourne FC have been accused of this strategy. There is no reason for players to keep trying their hardest except pride and with a draft system vs free agency that may not be there in many of the club’s players.

      There isn’t even an All-Stars contest which could have the potential of giving good quality players something to play for. Now from here to using tanking as a strategy is a massive leap, but it isn’t unprecedented. In world sport teams like Zimbabwe are striving for credibility in Test cricket.

      And yet there’s little reason for the players to have heart that things will get better (perhaps much like the economic outlook) and so they start playing-up to their tag as cellar dwellers getting into a vicious circle of self-defeatism and metaphoric (sporting) alcoholism: bingeing in order to forget and forgetting in order to justify bingeing!

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