Eddie McGuire slams lawyers over spiteful Buddy Franklin AFL hearing

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·Sports Reporter
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Eddie McGuire was filthy about the insulting language used by lawyers acting for both sides in Buddy Franklin's appeal at the AFL Tribunal. Pictures: Channel 9
Eddie McGuire was filthy about the insulting language used by lawyers acting for both sides in Buddy Franklin's appeal at the AFL Tribunal. Pictures: Channel 9

Eddie McGuire has lashed out at the conduct of lawyers representing AFL stars Lance Franklin and Trent Cotchin at the Tribunal on Wednesday night.

The former Collingwood president was furious about the language used by Duncan Miller, acting for Franklin, and the AFL's counsel Andrew Woods, labelling it 'almost defamatory'.

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Franklin's one match ban for striking was ultimately upheld, meaning the Swans forward will miss Sydney's clash with reiging premiers Melbourne on Saturday.

The Swans had argued that Franklin's hit on Cotchin was unintentional, and a glancing blow that had been exaggerated by the Richmond captain.

Miller accused Cotchin of acting, suggesting he should go to the Logies instead of the Brownlow Medal count this year.

“I’m tempted to say he might be invited to the Logies and not the Brownlow this year," he said during proceedings.

“The exaggerated head movement back and the rest of the pictures show exactly what it was — there’s a wry smile on Mr Cotchin’s face.”

The AFL counsel Woods in response described Franklin's actions as 'brazen' and 'cowardly' - a criticism McGuire felt went too far.

“It’s AFL, not Fight Club or a combat sport,” Woods said.

McGuire told Footy Classified that he was less than impressed with the level of professionalism shown by both sides, with former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon in agreement.

“Can I say to the AFL counsel Andrew Woods, mate, pull up, that is way out of odds," he said.

"To call a player a coward and a cowardly act is almost defamatory."

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McGuire said there was no need for Tribunal proceedings to become spiteful.

“(Cotchin and Franklin) are two of the best people in football as far as their reputations," he said.

“An allegation from a QC of a cowardly act and another (for staging), please. QCs, enough.”

Lyon agreed with McGuire, saying the tone of Wednesday's hearing set an incredibly poor example to follow.

“They may feel good about that but I think it’s out of line,” he said.

“Trent Cotchin, he threw himself in front of a raging freight train in Lance Franklin.

“I think it’s flippant, I think it’s unnecessary.”

Buddy Franklin will miss Sydney's showdown against Melbourne this weekend after his one-match ban for striking was upheld. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Buddy Franklin will miss Sydney's showdown against Melbourne this weekend after his one-match ban for striking was upheld. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

After deliberating for 30 minutes, the tribunal jury upheld the charge, which was graded by the AFL's match review officer as intentional, low impact and high contact.

"This was a strike, swift and direct and noticeably more aggressive and forceful than the first act," tribunal chairman Jeff Gleeson said.

"Cotchin's head jerks back in a natural response to contact to the jaw.

"His response was spontaneous and intentional."

The Swans argued Franklin pushed Cotchin rather than strike him during Friday night's thriller at the SCG and the impact was negligible instead of low.

The Swans' case hinged greatly on arguing Cotchin exaggerated the contact during the second quarter of the match.

With AAP

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