COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire says the Magpies would have nothing to hide if an AFL investigation into whether Melbourne tanked spread to other clubs.
The Demons could know as early as today whether they will have a case to answer after Brock McLean, who sparked the re-opening of an investigation into the Demons’ controversial 2009 season, was interviewed by the AFL’s integrity department yesterday. The AFL would not comment last night.
If McLean was able to substantiate his allegations that Melbourne’s priority was not to win games late in the ’09 season, and the directive came from club powerbrokers above coach Dean Bailey, then it’s likely those people would be investigated.
Bailey was interviewed and cleared of any wrongdoing last year.
Carlton coach Brett Ratten yesterday revealed he had been interviewed twice by the AFL over tanking rumours, and cleared.
It has long been speculated the Blues lost matches late in the ’07 season in order to secure Matthew Kreuzer in the national draft.
If an AFL probe is widened, it could include other clubs. In 2005, the Magpies put players into surgery early and lost their last eight games, allowing them to draft Scott Pendlebury and Dale Thomas.
McGuire said the Magpies had not been interviewed about their actions that season and said the club had nothing to fear. ”I don’t think we had much in our control that year. We had injuries left, right and centre,” he said.
”Why would there be anything to hide? Our seasons are all on record, they are all there. It’s a bit staggering this has come on the back of Brock McLean, when we had an investigation and quotes [last year] from Dean Bailey. I don’t know what they [the AFL] are hoping to achieve from this.
”It apparently didn’t happen, they had their investigation; move on. I would have thought the next thing we should be looking at is fixing up the match review [panel] and the score review system going into the finals.”
Former Carlton assistant coach
Tony Liberatore said in 2008 the Blues had tanked late in the ’07 campaign, but recanted that allegation when interviewed by the AFL.
Ratten said he had no concerns about being interviewed by the AFL over the allegations. ”They’ve investigated Melbourne, they’ve investigated us,” he said.
”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 are the chief of the game … and they can call on any person at any time.
”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.”
It’s understood West Coast was not interviewed about its dismal 2010 when it finished last and was the subject of speculation it had tanked. The Eagles rebounded last year and finished fourth.
McLean revealed this week he had quit the Demons after the ’09 season because the club’s philosophy had not sat well with him. The Demons lost six of their final seven games and secured coveted youngsters Tom Scully and Jack Trengove in the national draft.
”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,” McLean said.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has maintained tanking does not exist.
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