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."