‘If that’s the best mark we’ve seen over 17 rounds of footy, I’d be extremely surprised.’
Carlton coach Brett Ratten has admitted he was interviewed twice by the AFL over tanking rumours.
Ratten said on Wednesday the league had every right to talk to players, coaches or officials if they suspected clubs were throwing games.
And he said he had no issue with the league interviewing his player Brock McLean after the midfielder said he left Melbourne when he realised the Demons appeared to be deliberately losing.
McLean played for Melbourne in 2009, when they lost six of their last seven games to finish bottom of the table with four wins, and snared star draft picks Tom Scully and Jack Trengove.
“Circumstances that happened in the second half of the year never really sat well with me,” McLean said earlier this week.
“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.”
The AFL says it will interview McLean over his claims but Ratten said he never took offence when the league spoke to him.
“They’ve investigated Melbourne, they’ve investigated us,” Ratten said.
“Personally as a coach, I got investigated twice in regards to this, so I’ve gone through that procedure and the AFL have ticked it off.
“They’ve done their findings behind the scenes and everything’s clear.
“If the AFL want to speak to anyone at any time, they’ve got the right to.
“They interview you for a reason, whether it’s a rumour, or something’s there or someone said something. I didn’t find it offensive at all.”
Ratten said he was not surprised that McLean can look forward to a knock on the door from the AFL after the comments he made.
“If he’s gone down a path that the AFL thinks he needs to be investigated then he’ll have to answer to them,” he said.
“Adrian or Andrew (AFL officials Adrian Anderson and Andrew Demetriou) will chat to him somewhere along the line.
“That will happen pretty soon I dare say because they’ll try and work out what’s going on.
“Brock will have to talk to them and work out what’s going on.”
Ratten denied the issue would affect the Blues as they aimed to secure a finals berth.
“We’ve got a massive game this week (against Sydney),” he said.
“I’m not worried what is going on outside. I’m worried about what’s going on internally and what we can do about winning games of football.”
Former Melbourne president Paul Gardner said he left a game before it ended during the 2008 season, in which the Demons finished last on the ladder, because he believed they weren’t trying to win.
“I knew what they were doing and why they were doing it, but I didn’t have to watch it any more,” Gardner told Radio SEN.
“As a spectator or observer, there were a number of games that were questionable about how hard they were trying.”
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said the AFL had dealt well with the issue.
“They’ve taken the priority picks off the table,” Buckley said.
“The conversation and the focus on it is a little bit unsavoury. The AFL have managed it well and it’s not an issue that we need to worry about any more.”