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Confession has Bailey out for 16 rounds

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Dean Bailey 'felt pressured' over selection decisions

AFL tanking inquiry finds Melbourne coach felt pressure "to appease" ex-Melbourne FC football operations manager Chris Connolly over positional selections and decisions to rest players.

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DEAN Bailey confessed to one of three charges levelled against him in the AFL's tanking probe of Melbourne in the hope of avoiding a longer suspension or even a permanent ban from the game.

Bailey, now an assistant coach with Adelaide, has been suspended for the opening 16 rounds of the season for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the AFL while coaching the Demons in 2009.

Bailey faced three charges - of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the league, tampering with the national draft and of not coaching to his utmost.

Dean Bailey will miss most of season 2013.

Dean Bailey will miss most of season 2013. Photo: Getty Images

But he insisted to league investigators that he had only maintained the Demons' developmental ethos in a year when the club won only four matches and qualified for what it thought would be a prized priority pick. The Demons had even made it clear they were working on ''long-term interests'' in their 2008 annual report.

''Obviously Dean is disappointed, but the Adelaide Football Club has undertaken to support him,'' Bailey's lawyer Chris Pollard, of Russell Kennedy, said on Tuesday.

Former football manager Chris Connolly, who still works at the club, has been suspended for 11 months under the same charge as Bailey, pertaining to his comments in the now infamous ''Vault'' meeting at the Junction Oval on the Monday after an 11-point win in the round-15 game over Port Adelaide.

Various accounts of what Connolly said or implied in the room of 15 football operations staff were reported in witness statements in the AFL's 800-page investigative document, although most reported they felt he did not want the Demons to win another game.

That victory over the Power, the Demons' third of the season, meant they were dangerously close to losing the priority pick because, under the laws at the time, teams could win no more than four games to secure the extra selection.

Fairfax Media has been told there were allegations that only two names appeared on the whiteboard in the room during that meeting - Tom Scully, now with Greater Western Sydney, and current co-captain Jack Trengove. The Demons would draft the pair months later, having qualified for the top two picks in the draft by winning only four games.

Acting AFL operations manager Gillon McLachlan said Connolly's comments had been ''prejudicial to the interests of the AFL''.

Bailey had then worked in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the AFL by acting on Connolly's comments, in terms of selection and the resting of players, but not on game day when he coached to win.

McLachlan also confirmed on Tuesday the Demons were fined $500,000 despite declaring the club had not deliberately set out to lose matches. Demons chief executive Cameron Schwab escaped sanction.

Lawyers for the Melbourne Football Club said the AFL had struck a ''balanced conclusion''.

''What this boils down to is, Connolly has one conversation which a lot of people have different accounts of, while there is no equivalence with Schwab. There is no evidence,'' one lawyer said. ''The board had nothing to do with it.''

Bailey will not act as an assistant coach during his suspension but will remain in a paid role with the Crows.

He was also mindful of what impact the controversy would have on the Crows should he pursue the case, while the cost was also an issue.

He had considered fronting the AFL Commission in a bid to clear his name but, in conjunction with Pollard, opted to confess to the charge of bringing the game into disrepute.

Had he appeared before AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick and his Commission, Bailey feared he risked greater punishment.

''Due to the findings of the AFL investigation and the AFL Commission, Dean, importantly, has been found not guilty to the allegation of not coaching to his merits or tampering with the draft,'' Pollard said.

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Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 19:20MCG
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 13:40MCG
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 16:35ANZ
BRI 74 vs COL 86 19:20G
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 19:20ES
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 13:10ES
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 18:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 15:20MCG
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Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 20:10Domain Stadium
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RIC 66 vs WBU 85 13:45MCG
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 14:10SO
COL 63 vs ADE 90 16:35ES
GCF 76 vs STK 104 19:20MS
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60 vs FRE 104 13:10SS
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 15:20MCG
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 16:40ES
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Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 19:50MCG
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 13:45MCG
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 14:10Adelaide Oval
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 16:35SCG
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 19:20ES
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 19:20G
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HAW 127 vs WBU 57 13:10AS
GEE 105 vs GCF 96 15:20SS
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs MEL 83 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81 vs CAR 121 11:10NZ
ESS 49 vs COL 69 14:40MCG
GWS 119 vs GCF 53 17:40SO
PTA 99 vs HAW 91 19:40Adelaide Oval
FRE 74 vs SYD 60 20:45Domain Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
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WBU 125 vs ADE 68 16:40ES
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Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
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Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
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Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
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Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
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GCF vs COL 16:35MS
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Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
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Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
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ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
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Round 11
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Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
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Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
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Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
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GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
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ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
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Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
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ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
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HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
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Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
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Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
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ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
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Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
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WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
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GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
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ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
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WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
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CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
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HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
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ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
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STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
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RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
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Sydney Swans 4 3 1 0 125.00 12
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