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Communication poor on suspensions: Demetriou

Date

Martin Blake

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou.

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou. Photo: Pat Scala

Andrew Demetriou says the AFL's match review panel and judiciary system is better than the old system — albeit an imperfect beast.

After a season of controversy over the MRP and tribunal findings, the AFL's chief executive admitted even he was puzzled at times, but speaking on 3AW last night, he said it was part of life.

"Yes I'm far happier with the match review panel and the process than the old tribunal system," said Demetriou.

"Does that mean that from time to time as an individual that we don't scratch our heads at some of the decisions? No, of course we do. We're only human.

"There is no such thing as a perfect judicial system. Whether it's in football or in the community, every day there's a decision handed down by a judicial system that people query, and 'that's inconsistent' or 'that's soft' or 'they got that wrong'.

"I'm sure without doubt that there's a couple of decisions — maybe more this year — that people are entitled to say 'gosh how did they get that wrong? Why was that that way?'.

"I definitely believe we've been very poor as an organisation communicating how the weeks (suspension) are handed out. People say 'why was that four and and not three?' But as it turns out it was three but then you add the loading and the previous history that makes it four and it looks worse.

"I think we've got a huge job to communicate to our supporters a lot more effectively about how the weeks end up as they are."

In a wide-ranging interview, Demetriou:

  •  Said the decision to hold one preliminary final at 5.15pm was not purely a decision based on television's interests. He said there would not be a twilight grand final in his time as chief executive.

He said the most important consideration was allowing an interstate team to get home on the night of the game to begin its recovery. "We know we can get both teams back and they're satisfied with that," he said.

Demetriou said holding the game at 3.15pm would have deprived about a million television viewers of the ability to watch the final. "We don't want to deprive people of watching the game. We want as many people as we can. That's a television issue, but if it was TV only, we would've played the game at 7.30 at night."

  • Said Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley would be a good choice as future North Melbourne chief executive. The pair are close friends.

"He'd be suitable," said Demetriou. "He'd be someone North Melbourne should speak to."

  • Rated Greater Western Sydney's first season in the AFL as "a huge tick" because the club was competitive.

"People are interested in the GWS and the Gold Coast. I'm really pleased with the way they're travelling, and I'm not fussed about the crowds. Those crowds might be like that for the next three to four years."

 

22 comments

  • The Old system was a lot fairer, players had to attend the tribunal evidence was heard and adjudicated on, the big problem occured when clubs started using QC's as defence attorneys, its all been down hill since then, just cos its new doesnt mean its better, perfect example of this was the Lynch report from this weekend, he should have been suspended and under the old system he would have been, however, under the new system he got away with it. Time to go back to the old ways.

    Commenter
    Brissyman
    Date and time
    September 13, 2012, 3:26PM
    • Is Andrew going to sack anybody for failing to book or tie up Patterson's stadium on Friday/Saturday in week 1 of the finals and AAMI Stadium for the Prelim Final Saturday spot, or will he ignore another tough decision.

      Commenter
      kcabotkcab
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 3:39PM
      • KCA - how can he sack his boss (Fitzpatrick)

        Commenter
        Gaz
        Location
        Yarrawonga
        Date and time
        September 13, 2012, 4:37PM
      • One prelim will be in Sydney, the other at the G.

        AAMI ?? You do understand the finals system?

        Commenter
        kepler-22b
        Date and time
        September 13, 2012, 7:03PM
    • Don't know how roghhead from hawkes got away with the sneaky bump tackiics on dawes, if i see my son being bumped off like that during a footy match i would be outraged and looking for someones head to put on the chopping block - come on guys, just imagine what you would do if your son is the one affected by bad on field recklessness by rough play that should be stamped out!!!!

      Commenter
      Jimako
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 3:55PM
      • Time to take the patch off your left eye. Collingwood knew they would lose and resorted to dirty tactics. Something Mick Malthouse previously helped remove from that club.

        A reason why I wouldn't let my son play is not because of a bit of rough and tumble between kids, but more so the agro parents on the outer wanting to put a head on the chopping block.

        Commenter
        Skimmer
        Location
        Wrong Side of Town
        Date and time
        September 13, 2012, 9:40PM
    • This has to be a fabrication the AFL never ever does anything wrong and your sued if you say otherwise.

      Commenter
      Benny
      Location
      The Heartland
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 4:01PM
      • I think the MRP panel decisions, odd as they sometimes are, are well explained. It's when cases go to the tribunal that communications could be improved- some kind of brief "reasons for decision". The Ziebell case, where the tribunal decided he had a reasonable alternative to contest the ball without saying what they thought it was, was the low point. Not really impressed with the Lynch decision this week either: what were the factors in Lynch getting off for what looked like a dead set case of a guy who knew he was arriving late to the contest and decide to hurt his opponent in a dangerous way? We don't know, and that's the problem.

        The only way in which MRP decisions really need to be improved is to explain the difference between "intentional" "negligent" and "reckless". It's often chook lotto... swinging arms called "negligent" or "reckless" in some cases and "intentional" in others with no rhyme or reason.

        Commenter
        Arky
        Date and time
        September 13, 2012, 4:17PM
        • Andrew, you compare the MRP to a judicial system - yet with your system a player faces further sanction or punishment for 'appealing' a system. How is this fair, and how is this comparable to any other judicial system?
          And how about the 'independence' of the panel? Who appoints them? Let me guess, the AFL.
          Another example of the totalitarianism that has crept into the administration under your watch.

          Commenter
          dave
          Location
          coburg
          Date and time
          September 13, 2012, 4:30PM
          • There was a great article in the weekend Age about this system. It is a mirror of the plea bargain. So, you are up for manslaughter. Go to court, face a jury and risk 10years (my figure). OR accept an early guilty plea and get 8 years with six for good behaviour (again, my figures).

            The plea deals offerered in the USA were introduced to free up the courts. He presented stats that showed an alarming number of people who had accepted the plea deal were actually innocent when new DNA evidence showed up. Basically people were accepting the "lesser" sentence because they didn't believe they would get off in court.

            The new MRP system works the same way. How many players have challenged their charge and got off at the tribunal?

            I completely agree with you that facing a further sanction for wanting to present your side of the story is outrageous. The system is designed so that the tribunal never sits. If a bump is worth 2 weeks to the MRP why is it three weeks at the tribunal? That is inconsistant.

            Commenter
            Phil
            Location
            Melb
            Date and time
            September 13, 2012, 5:39PM

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