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Ross still the boss: Fremantle release statement backing Lyon

Ross Lyon, Senior Coach of the Dockers addresses his players during the 2018 AFL round seven match between the Richmond Tigers and the Fremantle Dockers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 6, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Editor
10th May, 2018
129

The Fremantle Dockers have released a statement confirming that Ross Lyon will remain their senior coach despite speculation that he could step down.

Lyon being reportedly at the centre of a number of incidents in recent weeks has fuelled speculation that despite the Dockers’ somewhat successful start to the season, he could leave the club.

However Fremantle’s statement specifies that the club is ‘fully committed’ to Lyon as their senior coach where is contracted until the end of 2020.

“The recent media speculation does not in any way alter the board and the club’s commitment to Ross as senior coach of the Fremantle Dockers,” said Fremantle president Dale Alcock.

Read the full statement:

The Fremantle Football Club can confirm that a male person contacted the club last night and again today to advise that he would not be taking any action over an allegation reported by the Herald Sun yesterday about an alleged altercation involving the club’s senior coach at a bar in Fremantle some years ago.

The AFL has also confirmed that it is not investigating any complaint against Fremantle.

Yesterday’s reporting by the Herald Sun of an alleged altercation is unrelated to a work place matter that was presented to the club via a WorkCover WA worker’s compensation claim form in late 2017, which contained allegations by a former employee about a current employee.

This matter was subsequently worked through in consultation with all parties, including the AFL, and resolved with the agreement of all parties and also independently investigated by the AFL’s Integrity Services Unit in accordance with the league’s Respect and Responsibility Policy and at the request of the current employee and the club.

No sanctions were imposed following the AFL investigation.

Alcock said the club would welcome an independent investigation by the AFL of any complaint about Fremantle.

“The Fremantle Football Club is an organisation that is committed to the highest standards and to ensuring that we provide a safe, supportive and respectful environment for everyone who works at our club or comes into contact with our club,” Alcock said.

“It is really important that if people feel that the club and our employees have not demonstrated those standards, they are able to have the matter investigated by an independent person from the AFL or – if it is serious – to have it referred to the relevant authority.

“I would encourage anyone in such a situation to do that. Everyone has the right to have their complaint properly and fully investigated.”

Alcock said the club had learnt from its handling of the workplace matter earlier this year.

“As a club we have positive learnings from the process conducted earlier this year with the AFL, and this will assist us to further enhance our workplace culture and to be the best club that we can be,” Alcock said.

“Last year we instigated a process of updating and reinforcing our core club values of excellence and respect with all of our staff.

“We are conducting training sessions with key staff, which will be followed by the whole staff group, on the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility Policy and the skills for preventing and dealing with these matters.

“We are also reviewing the process conducted with the AFL Integrity Services Unit earlier this year to ensure that we are best placed to deal with future integrity matters.

“It is also important to note that over the past five years, the number of permanent female employees working at our club has increased from 28 to 47 in 2018 (not including female players).

“We have been proud to have a team in the AFLW for the past two years and female players as part of our club.

“We have promoted key women employees and now have three female directors as part of our diverse board.

“We also have a women’s leadership program and instigated a review of our workplace entitlements that will be put to the board later this month.

“As I said, we are committed to providing a safe environment for men and women to work in, where there is respect for all. That is an important part of who we are and what we stand for.

“If ever people think that any individual at Fremantle falls below those standards then I would encourage them to go to the AFL, to sit down with the AFL Integrity Services Unit and provide all the information they have, or alternatively contact the club.

“The community expects us and we expect to provide and maintain a supportive and safe environment where people are treated as equals and with respect. That is the right thing to do and we are committed to doing that.

“We want everyone who engages with our club and all employees and players to walk away with a positive experience of the Fremantle Football Club.

“We are also committed to addressing any issue in an open, honest, and respectful way in line with AFL policies, relevant legal requirements and the club’s values.

“Our management team is very experienced and our diverse and high calibre board has broad business, cultural and community experience.

“Our board and management team are committed to following best practice, and acting sensitively and with respect and integrity to all parties, at all times.”

Alcock confirmed the club and the board’s support for Ross Lyon as senior coach of the Fremantle Dockers.

“Since joining the club in late 2011, Ross Lyon has clearly demonstrated that he is a very experienced, hard-working and committed senior coach and that continues to be the case today,” Alcock said.

“Ross’ working relationship with his coaching team and playing group is outstanding and is reflected in the focused and cohesive way the players and coaches plan and prepare for every training session and every game.

“Ross is fully committed to our list rebuild and the ongoing development and growth of both our young and experienced players.

“Ross is also committed to and continues to demonstrate improvement and growth as a senior person at the club.

“As a club we are fully committed to Ross as our senior coach and the recent media speculation does not in any way alter the board and the club’s commitment to Ross as senior coach of the Fremantle Dockers.”