AFL fails test of character

Andrew Sutherland Roar Guru

By Andrew Sutherland, Andrew Sutherland is a Roar Guru

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55 Have your say

    The AFL Commission took longer to conclude the Kurt Tippett affair than to decide on Carlton’s serious punishment for systematic salary cap rorting in 2002. It must have been all the back slapping that absorbed their time.

    Steven Trigg, a major instigator of the affair, was given several glowing character references at Friday’s hearing. His response – bristling and insincerely apologetic – to his subsequent mild punishment proves he didn’t deserve such tributes.

    Many people connected to the club, including former champion Andrew Jarman, have called for Trigg’s sacking however the chief executive, clearly upset that he has been targeted, had the gall to describe his six month ban as “unprecedented” and “extraordinarily tough” rather than paltry, which is what it is.

    It was unprecedented because usually it’s the club that is punished, and not the individuals. However seeing that he helped orchestrate the deal without the knowledge of the Crows board, it’s appropriate he was the one sanctioned.

    The club was still fined $300,000 and stripped of first and second round selections in next year’s national draft.

    This is a man who lied to his own chairman Rob Chapman when allegations of illicit dealings were raised last year.

    This a man who forced Matt Rendell to resign in March over his comments about the recruitment of indigenous players, denying Rendell an opportunity to give his version of events at a press conference because “the mud would stick”. Rendell would later state that he was pushing for the establishment of an indigenous scholarship during the conversation with AFL community engagement manager Jason Mifsud in which the thoughtless comments were made.

    When quizzed over the matter by Andrew Demetriou, Trigg allegedly told the AFL boss that he gave Rendell an opportunity to retract his comments but Rendell refused. Rendell has denied this ever occurred.

    The thought that Trigg may be a liar has obviously not occured to Demetriou or AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick. Revealing a dreadfully low level of objectivity, they sang his praises while dispensing their meek justice.

    “It’s fundamentally the one transaction … in other ways, Steven Trigg has been an exemplary chief executive”, chirped Demetriou. Well it was three “mistakes”, actually: the Tippett offers, the authorisation of a second secret letter removing the reference to illicit third party deals, and “misleading” (ie lying to) the club’s board.

    It was also noted that Trigg is a CEO of “immense ability” as if that has anything to do with character and integrity. Perhaps the AFL shares the philosophy of those clubs who give star players numerous second chances for off field indiscretions but sanctimoniously announce the sacking of a fringe player after a single incident.

    The statement: “He [Trigg] will learn from this and will be welcomed back into he industry”, from the competition’s CEO is unbelievable. What, a middle-aged man with ten years experience as a club chief executive has to be taught not to tamper with the draft or attempt to breach the salary cap?

    And what is it with the suspended sentence for an “exemplary record”? Firstly, which current club bosses don’t have an exemplary record and what have they done? Secondly, if Trigg is later found rorting the salary cap or placing illegal bets does he get to serve the suspended six months instead of being banished from the AFL forever?

    There is the possibility, of course, that the club did know more than the almost overly apologetic Chapman is letting on. This would explain Trigg expressing a fall guy’s lack of contrition.

    Or Trigg may just be peeved that no other club has been caught arranging the many “underground third party deals” that disgraced former agent Ricky Nixon alleges are taking place.

    There were no apologies from Kurt Tippett either who, after complaining of a few sleepless nights, disappeared out the AFL headquarters’ back door with his father and QC, and later issued an ALPA authored statement blaming Adelaide for his current predicament.

    His agent Peter Blucher who brokered the deals appears to have escaped sanction.

    And less than twenty four hours after stating that the penalties handed down to his club and personnel were important for the integrity of the game Rob Chapman has announced he will be retaining Trigg as chief executive because “good chief executives don’t grow on trees”.

    Goodbye integrity.

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    The Crowd Says (55)

    • December 2nd 2012 @ 8:26am
      hiog said | December 2nd 2012 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      Its’ amazing how integrity goes out the window, if Tippet was a no name average player he would have got life, yet somehow he will be back in round 12 and he will get a club, the crow,s are fined three hundred thousand basically a slap on the wrist, and the CEO responsible gets a couple of months. Forward the good ship AFL!!

      • December 2nd 2012 @ 2:52pm
        amazonfan said | December 2nd 2012 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

        No player deserves life. If anything, his punishment was far too tough.

    • December 2nd 2012 @ 8:35am
      db swannie said | December 2nd 2012 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      Michael what IZZY does ,is not a problem ,RL has went along nicely without him ,so his return/non return is not an issue.
      i would think the integrity of the whole AFL as a sport would be of much more concern.
      This is the off season from hell for the AFL,especially surrounding the draft saga,Tanking & salary cap problems.
      When one man is given too much power(AD),then problems will always arise.

      I think what it has shown is that a level salary cap for all teams ,& NO draft is the fairest way.

      • December 2nd 2012 @ 10:37am
        Michael said | December 2nd 2012 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        Whilst I agree that it has been a colourful off-season for the AFL, I find it very laughable that NRL fans immediately jump in to question the AFL’s credibility.

        This is the competition that recently submissively bent over for Barry and the NSW government because they had the deepest pockets.

        The AFL is far from perfect, but you guys sinking the boot in at the first opportunity says a lot more about you.

        • December 2nd 2012 @ 1:52pm
          Martin D. said | December 2nd 2012 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

          The NRL is very well run and professional compared to the AFL because the NRL actually enforces its rules when scandals occur while the AFL only pretends to enforce rules, when it really is just an organisation of rogues making as much money as possible.

          • Roar Guru

            December 2nd 2012 @ 6:26pm
            The_Wookie said | December 2nd 2012 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

            which is why the NRL administration model was copied by its nearest competitior and set groundbreaking media deals etc etc…OH WAIT

          • December 2nd 2012 @ 8:38pm
            fred gallop said | December 2nd 2012 @ 8:38pm | ! Report

            Funny no Storm officials or players were suspended yet there was far more systematic rorting than the Tippett case. The player agents got slapped with a feather – I know you have no credibility because your post has no evidence or facts but full of generalisations. The Storm lost premierships but News hoped that the groundswell of anger in the South would boost the fans against those biased northerners but it didnt work. Meanwhile all its star players were allowed to play on and the salary cap backending with the slate wiped clean meant that the Storm could continue on with the big three.

    • December 2nd 2012 @ 8:49am
      Martin D. said | December 2nd 2012 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      The AFL should be disbanded. It’s a joke. They have some excellent athletes, but the competition lacks credibility.

      • December 2nd 2012 @ 2:27pm
        Punter said | December 2nd 2012 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

        I don’t think it needs to disband, I think that is maybe one step too far. They do have some excellent athletes though, I have always thought Gary Abblett wouldn’t been a great holing midfielder with great vision.

        • December 2nd 2012 @ 2:30pm
          Martin D. said | December 2nd 2012 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

          It was a joke. Let’s face it. All sport is an industry now. If it makes money for TV advertisers it will never need to disband.

          • December 2nd 2012 @ 2:37pm
            Punter said | December 2nd 2012 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

            The game gives great pleasure to millions of Australians in certain parts of the country, so I think disbanding is harsh considering that act is done by only a few.

            BTW, the above should have read Abblett would’ve been a great holding midfielder for the Socceroos.

        • December 2nd 2012 @ 5:36pm
          TC said | December 2nd 2012 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

          Which position is the holing midfielder? the one in the hole?


      • December 3rd 2012 @ 9:24am
        Australian Rules said | December 3rd 2012 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        I agree with Martin.D…the entire AFL ocmpetition should be disbanded.

        Brilliant stuff

    • December 2nd 2012 @ 12:21pm
      F. Green said | December 2nd 2012 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

      You summed up Trigg nicely, although I would have thought the word arrogant might have rated a mention, I think the apologies from Chapman were to make up for the lack of them from Trigg.

    • December 2nd 2012 @ 1:03pm
      db swannie said | December 2nd 2012 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

      I only replied to your post Michael as you are trying to deflect,or imply that Izzy not coming back to RL is in the same ballpark as the AFL problems ATM.
      They are not in the same ballpark.
      But you keep following your comp,where draft cheating,losing on purpose,Clubs given extra$$$ & the best young players is the norm,& i will keep following a game where if Izzy doesnt play it maks no difference ,& every team has the same $$$ to spend on players,no unfair advantages,a level playing field.
      & as or the Titans drama,good onher turning her life around,& becoming a fitness/bodybuilder trainer.I have no probs with that.Everyone has a past ,& she has tried to overcome it.
      & speaking of drugs i see there is another loophole in the AFL policy,& players are booking into rehab to avoid a strike.

      & yes i do know that RL has had some idiots/.morons in the past & will in the future,its justa pity when AFL has problems ,the fans first reacton is to mention NRL players…

    • December 2nd 2012 @ 2:51pm
      Johan said | December 2nd 2012 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

      Well golly gosh, i’s not the end f the world or is it…
      To all the Crow knockers LMA

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