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AFL News: 'No credibility' - Freo slam ex-ump's 'spoilt brat' whack at Clark, Dees to challenge Pickett ban

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8th April, 2024
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Fremantle football general manager Joe Brierty has staunchly defended backman Jordan Clark, following his role in the umpire dissent controversy that dominated headlines following the Dockers’ loss to Carlton.

Following a Matthew Cottrell go-ahead goal that came as a result of the mark the Dockers rightly disputed as having been touched by James Aish, Clark was penalised for alleged abusive language to give the Blues another shot at goal in the final minute – with the defender having since claimed he said ‘you f–king idiot, Jordan’ in relation to him having allowed Cottrell to mark.

Ex-AFL umpire Michael Pell, who was dismissed in late 2022 after an investigation into alleged corrupt activities surrounding that year’s Brownlow Medal, took to X to describe Clark as a ‘spoilt brat’, detailing a run-in with him while at Geelong during the COVID-interrupted 2020 season.

Speaking on ABC Perth, Brierty hit back at Pell’s comments, saying the former umpire has ‘no credibility whatsoever’.

“Jordan is a quality young man, and a fantastic person who’s done an enormous amount of work for our club, on and off the field,” Brierty said.

“We stand behind him, with our fans knowing the quality of the person he is.

“To have someone that brings your character into question on Twitter who really has no credibility whatsoever is really frustrating and disappointing.


“We’re right behind Jordan and I love the way he goes about it for our club.”

Brierty also reiterated Clark’s claim that the defender was ‘frustrated at himself’ rather than abusing the umpire.

“He’s [Clark] swearing at himself at that point in time, but obviously from an umpire’s point of view when they are looking at each other, he [the umpire] feels as though it’s directed towards him,” Brierty said.

“That’s where the umpire has paid the dissent free kick.”

The Dockers’ thrilling loss was their first of the 2024 season, with another tough challenge awaiting on Saturday night against Port Adelaide, which will see them return to the Adelaide Oval for the second straight week.

Jordan Clark.

Jordan Clark. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Dees to challenge Pickett ban


Melbourne will challenge Kysaiah Pickett’s one-match ban at the AFL tribunal in a bid to free the gun forward for their bumper clash with the Brisbane Lions.

But Carlton have accepted Lachie Fogarty’s suspension for rough conduct, with the forward sidelined for the Blues’ home game against Adelaide on Saturday.

Pickett was on Friday handed his third ban since the start of last season, this time for a high bump on Adelaide’s Jake Soligo.

The 22-year-old jumped off the ground and made glancing contact with his opponent’s head during the Demons’ 15-point win at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

Soligo finished the game and on Friday played down the incident, while Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin was adamant his star forward was attempting to smother the Crows player’s handball.

But AFL match review officer Michael Christian graded the incident as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact, drawing a one-match suspension.

On Monday, Melbourne confirmed they would challenge that ruling.


Pickett is likely to front the tribunal on Tuesday in a bid to play on Thursday night at the MCG.

Fogarty was suspended for a late attempted spoil on Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe. The Docker marked and was collected high by the Blues man’s outstretched arm.

The AFL match review officer graded the incident as high contact, medium impact and careless conduct.

Carlton have opted not to challenge the ban despite coach Michael Voss defending Fogarty in his post-match press conference.

“I thought it was a great contest from two guys keeping their eyes on the footy,” Voss said.

“Fyfe went back with flight, ‘Fog’ came across and tried to spoil, with his eyes on the ball the whole way.”



AFL mulling over sanction for Port forward’s homophobic slur

AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon won’t be drawn on how Jeremy Finlayson’s homophobic insult compares to other slurs as the league ponders a punishment for the Port Adelaide forward. 

Finlayson directed a homophobic slur towards an Essendon player during the third quarter of the Power’s 69-point victory over the Bombers at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

It is understood an umpire’s microphone picked up the insult, which was heard by multiple players, and at least one Essendon player also called it out.


The 28-year-old apologised to the target of his slur post-match, and on Sunday made a formal apology, describing his words as “unacceptable”.

Dillon was asked how Finlayson’s comment measured up to a racial slur.

“We take them all really seriously and I don’t think you can compare and contrast,” he said.

“But all of them are different, we don’t like them and that’s why we’re looking into it and that’s why there’ll be an accountability.”

What that “accountability” will be remains unclear, with suspensions and fines among the options.

Jeremy Finlayson celebrates kicking the winning goal against Sydney.

Jeremy Finlayson celebrates kicking the winning goal against Sydney. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Last month, North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson was fined $20,000 and has a suspended two-match ban for abusing St Kilda defenders Jimmy Webster and Dougal Howard during a pre-season game.


Clarkson was asked to explain his actions to the AFL after allegedly using the homophobic slur “c***sucker” during the practice match.

In 2021, Adelaide forward Taylor Walker received a six-game ban for uttering a racist remark about a rival reserves player.

Dillon wouldn’t put a specific time-frame on the Finlayson punishment, but confirmed it will be handed down before the next round, which starts on Thursday.

“We take these allegations very seriously, so we will run a full investigation,” he said.

“There will be an accountability for Jeremy at the end of that investigation. The timeline on it is it will be done before the next round of matches.

“I don’t think there’s any place for that anywhere, let alone the league.

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“We take this really seriously and I would prefer to run a proper investigation and a proper process to get to the right outcome.”

Asked whether a punishment for Finlayson should be a “captain’s call” made by him, Dillon indicated that lay with football boss Laura Kane and general counsel Stephen Meade.

“We’ve got really extensive rules and regulations that deal with that and ultimately it’s a call for our head of football and our general counsel, and they’ll make that when they’ve got all the information in front of them,” he said.

Dillon was speaking at a post-Gather Round press conference, where the AFL and the SA government announced the Barossa Valley would host a game in 2025.