Reid settlement story 'absolute garbage'
AFL chief Andrew Demetriou rubbishes reports in The Australian that the league is close to striking a deal with Essendon doctor Bruce Reid.PT1M0S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2toky 620 349 September 13, 2013
The AFL anticipates that Essendon doctor Bruce Reid, who has mounted a lone legal challenge against the league over the supplements scandal, will proceed with his Supreme Court action as scheduled next week.
The Bombers would not say on Friday whether they were aware of any settlement offered to Reid, but maintained support for the club stalwart who has refused to accept the serious misconduct charges laid against him by the AFL and has gone it alone in a bold move that could yet result in further public airing of highly sensitive matters.
The AFL's legal team declined to comment to Fairfax Media following Andrew Demetriou's rubbishing of a media report that claimed that the league was close to striking a settlement that would see a potentially uncomfortable case - which Reid has argued he wants heard in public by an independent arbiter - abandoned.
Essendon doctor Bruce Reid's case is scheduled to be heard in the Victorian Supreme Court next week. Photo: Jason South
Fairfax Media sought comment from Reid's legal camp but received no response.
Essendon chairman Paul Little would not comment but Bombers communications boss Justin Rodski said: ''The club is leaving the matter to Bruce Reid, his lawyers, and the AFL, and is awaiting the outcome of that. The club is fully supporting Bruce Reid and his right to challenge the outcome, and the club is awaiting the outcome of current proceedings.''
Asked whether the club was aware of an imminent settlement, or whether it expected Reid to pursue his case in court next Thursday, Rodski said: ''The club is not aware of any settlement at this point in time. The club has no knowledge about the specifics of the case.''
In a regular radio appearance on Friday morning, AFL chief executive Demetriou was scathing of a report in Friday's Australian newspaper that said Reid's solicitors had been presented with an offer on Wednesday to settle the matter. The report said Essendon's Little and AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick had been involved in an offer to settle. It also stated the alleged agreement with the AFL would lead to Reid being cleared of serious misconduct charges.
Reid's case is due to be heard in the Victorian Supreme Court next Thursday, and Demetriou said he expected the case would proceed as planned; a position that was subsequently echoed by Essendon.
"As I understand it - as we talk at this minute - that is my understanding, and that is the absolute truth," the AFL chief told 774 ABC radio on Friday morning.
Asked if he would expect to know if the AFL was on the verge of reaching a settlement with Reid, Demetriou said: "Yes, I would actually. Given I'm the chief executive of the AFL, I probably would.
"I think there's a genuine desire to sit down with Bruce Reid and have the matter resolved. As to what that means, and what sort of settlement it means, I don't know what the outcome is there.
''But it's been made very clear by Bruce Reid's team, his legal team, that they want to have their day in court, and they want an open hearing - they've made that very clear - and there's nothing that's been said to me in the past few days that's changed any of that view."