Collingwood ace Jordan De Goey has been urged not to sign an AFL contract featuring several clauses relating to his off-field behaviour as more information about the consequences of breaching them has emerged.
After putting several off-field controversies behind him as Collingwood charged to the preliminary final, De Goey's future with Collingwood is far from assured as the 26-year-old bristles at the Magpies' demands.
De Goey controversially hit out at the 'relentless persecution of athletes' after posts on social media showed him groping a friend while on a mid-season trip to Bali, while over the summer he put his post-season arrest in New York last year behind him by pleading guilty to a misdemeanour charge of harassment.
Those debacles, combined with instances of drink driving and lying to the club about the cause of an injury much earlier in his Collingwood career, led the club to include several clauses in their latest contract to the restricted free agent which reportedly give the club power to terminate the deal 'whenever they think necessary'.
AFL reporter Sam Edmund shed more light on the reported contract when discussing the situation on AFL Trade Radio.
“From what I have been told, the catch-all clause in the Collingwood contract for Jordan De Goey reads along the lines of Collingwood being able to stand down Jordan De Goey and terminate his contract whenever they think necessary," Edmund said.
“That is the ultimate catch-all clause.
“He doesn’t have to sign that of course, he can go and sign somewhere else. Clearly there’s a preference to stay at Collingwood.
“I think Collingwood will, if they haven’t already, give some ground here when it comes to the specific behavioural clauses of this Jordan De Goey contract.”
The clauses have drawn criticism both from former AFL player David King, as well as the AFL Players Association.
King said De Goey should start looking elsewhere, arguing on Twitter that his past history was not enough to have such a risk associated with his contract.
“No way Jordan De Goey should sign that contract,” he wrote.
“It should never be permissible by the AFLPA, regardless of history.
“Don’t trust him, don’t sign him.”
AFL debate erupts over Jordan De Goey's contract offer from Collingwood
The AFLPA has also been sharply critical of Collingwood's contract offer, which De Goey reportedly knocked back because of the 'arbitrary' nature of the behavioural clauses.
AFLPA representative Brett Murphy said the existing requirements for players as standard with the AFL were effective enough without adding further clauses for specific players.
De Goey's decision to knock back the contract was applauded by the AFLPA.
“Players are also bound by the code of conduct, AFL rules and other policies, which provide options for sanctions where appropriate and permitted in different circumstances, as well as broader legal principles applying to all employees,” Brett Murphy said.
“The content of AFL players’ Standard Playing Contract is agreed between the AFL and AFLPA. Having a standard form contract is the norm in world sport and any attempt to deviate from them undermines the integrity of this process and creates inconsistency.”
There has been lukewarm interest in De Goey from other clubs with Collingwood still in the box seat to re-sign the star forward, with St Kilda reportedly keeping an eye on the situation.
Not everyone in the AFL world has backed De Goey over the contract debate though, with the Herald Sun's Mark Robinson arguing he would be foolish to turn it down.
“Common sense behaviour! You’re a man! Take the deal,” Robinson urged.
“If you don’t want the deal, you don’t want to make the changes – goodbye! You are just a footballer, that’s all you are.
“You’re a good footballer but you are not bigger than the club.”
Collingwood have cleared list space for a batch of AFL trade targets by delisting four players, including the sons of former captain Gavin Brown.
The Magpies have axed Callum Brown and his younger brother Tyler, as well as Isaac Chugg and Liam McMahon from their playing roster for next season.
The beaten preliminary finalists will be a major player when the trade period officially opens on October 3.
Brisbane's Dan McStay, GWS forward Bobby Hill and Adelaide's Billy Frampton are all expected to join the Pies next season - with the latter duo already nominating Collingwood as their preferred destination.
And ruckman Brodie Grundy will likely move to Melbourne, despite having five years remaining on a seven-year contract with Collingwood.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.