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Andrew Demetriou 'out of touch', says Fans' Association president


Daniel Cherny

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AFL boss blasts 'disaffected ex-employee'

Outgoing AFL boss Andrew Demetriou lashes out at the AFL Fans' Association President Brian Clarke, claiming he has "caused havoc everywhere he's gone".

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Outgoing AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou has lashed out at the MCC and the AFL Fans' Association during a provocative interview on Radio 3AW.

Speaking on Friday morning after reports emerged that the ACCC was investigating a formal complaint from the Fans' Association about the league's controversial ticket pricing regime, Demetriou launched a scathing attack on the fledgling supporter body's President Brian Clarke.

Demetriou branded Clarke a "disaffected ex-employee" who has "caused havoc everywhere he's gone".

Andrew Demetriou

Andrew Demetriou Photo: Wayne Taylor

Clarke is a former employee of AFL Queensland. 

"I think it's a bit of a stunt by Clarke and co. Anything he can do to the get in the paper he will," Demetriou said.

The league chief - whose 11-year tenure is due to end within a fortnight - indicated that he did not know precisely what the complaint was, but that the AFL would not stray from its policy of being fully co-operative with the corporate watchdog.

Demetriou suggested that the ACCC, too, did not "mind getting their name in the paper".

The league has come under considerable scrutiny this year after implementing a new variable ticket pricing policy, attributed by the Fans' Association as a leading cause behind a decline in crowd numbers for games in Melbourne.

Demetriou reiterated that the AFL was addressing the intricacies of the variable pricing system, which he conceded last month had not been communicated sufficiently well to the public.

While contending there was a place in football for an organisation representing the game's fans, Demetriou believed the AFLFA needed to "take a good look at their leadership".

Responding to the disparaging remarks directs towards him, Clarke labelled Demetriou's comments "stupid".

"We want to have a constructive relationship with the AFL going forward. We're not going to deal with yesterday's men, and that's Andrew," Clarke said.

Clarke emphasised that the AFLFA's dialogues with the AFL had been positive, and identified incoming league CEO Gillon McLachlan and commercial operations manager Darren Birch as both assisting the process of reaching a satisfactory outcome for supporters.

The same could not however be said of Demetriou, Clarke maintained.

"His comments reinforce just how out of touch he is with the average fan. For him to take it personally and to play the man, it's just disappointing," Clarke said.

"We live in a democracy, and we have a democratic right to ask the ACCC what their opinion is."

While the details surrounding the clear animosity between Demetriou and Clarke remain uncertain, Clarke said of their relationship that "Andrew and I don't get along".

Clarke has been heavily involved in various spheres of the football world, and was responsible for initiating the AFL International Cup and Harmony Cup competitions.

Demetriou also had strong words for the MCC, describing it as "behind the times," and "slow on the uptake," highlighting a lack of WI-FI connectivity at the ground as a source of frustration for fans.

While praising the MCC for addressing its issues, its ticketing system - which still required some members to queue up outside the MCG on the morning of blockbuster games - was outdated.


  • The AFL broadcasts its biggest games in standard definition and its CEO is calling the MCC 'behind the times'?

    Date and time
    May 23, 2014, 10:44AM
    • Ditto. Vlad the great deflector. Hopefully Colonel Mustard will do what he says he will and look after the fans not the AFL bank balance.

      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 12:18PM
    • When did the MCC have its own network? How can the MCC be responsible for lack of WIFI connectivity when it doesn't even have a network?

      I bet Demetriou had someone write that one for him, because he clearly doesn't understand what he is talking about.

      Classic lack of understanding from the Gucci Socialist Demetriou, he has been out of touch from day 1. Just take your money and go back to irrelevance.

      Telstra, Optus, etc. own the networks. They are responsible for providing network service to fans.

      Oh, and 100,000 people can't all enter at once, so sometimes people will queue up for blockbuster games. MCC members queue on Grand Final day for walk up seats because they want to, members have been asked for years if they want to change that practice and they don't. In fact, every year I have queued up about 10,000 people get in within 20 minutes, no problems.

      Demetriou just wants all corporate tickets, he's jealous of the MCC.

      No wonder he was the worst AFL CEO in a long line of very poor ones.

      MCC member
      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 12:37PM
    • Double Ditto, although it channel 7 that needs to get with the HD times

      Tragic magpie fan
      Wheelers Hill
      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 12:40PM
    • Re the MCC, entrance to the Long Room specifies that men must wear a suit and tie, national costume or ... and this is seriously in the dress code .... a safari suit.

      Windy Hill
      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 12:46PM
    • @MCC member - Telstra, Optus Etc. generally Do NOT own wifi networks. They do have Mobile networks however that is an entirely different issue and has little to do with the AFL or MCC.

      The MCG did have a Wifi Network though, It was provided by Internode in 2009 on a three year contract with the MCC, I am unsure what has happened to it though.

      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 1:00PM
    • Wow!

      "disaffected ex employee" Really?

      Demetriou had better be sure, because I smell a lawsuit coming his way.

      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 1:15PM
    • MCC member

      Um, anybody can put in a wifi network. I'm working on my own right now. How do you think it works at a cafe, airport, mcdo etc? The MCG should have a free wifi network; it would cost peanuts in the scheme of things. The problem is that they'd go cheap and the download speeds would be awful.

      I do support your other comments.

      wear the fox hat
      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 2:00PM
    • @MCC Member. Your comment "I bet Demetriou had someone write that one for him, because he clearly doesn't understand what he is talking about." I think you may need to check your facts because Demetriou is right and you are wrong. Clearly the MCC already have a computer network with internet connection. It is the MCC's responsibility to provide Wi-Fi connectivity. No different to setting up Wi-Fi in your own house, just on a bigger scale.

      Check your facts
      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 2:32PM
  • Typical Demetriou. Lash out at those who oppose his dictatorial views. I'm a member of the newly-formed AFL Fans' Association as I'm tired at not having a voice and having Demetriou's dream of an 'Americanised' game rammed down our throat without consultation. Ridiculous scheduling; variable ticket-pricing; inconsistent MRP; scandalous food and drink pricing; gambling advertising; obnoxiously loud advertising during breaks; GWS while no side for Tasmania; constant rule tampering and expensive Foxtel subscriptions. Our game has decayed at a rapid pace under his watch. I'd suggest that his fiery rhetoric at the Fans' Association is a response to the fact that we are all fed up with him. Get out now, Andrew. Your time is over.

    Date and time
    May 23, 2014, 10:51AM

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