'Come on': Commentators in fiery clash over AFL strip club debacle

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
A 50-50 split image shows Brian Taylor on the left and Tom Browne on the right.
Channel 7 duo Brian Taylor and Tom Browne have squared off once again, this time over the punishment handed down to Richmond after two players were involved in a fight outside a strip club. Pictures: Channel 7

AFL commentator Brian Taylor has clashed with colleagues and former star player Wayne Carey the punishment for Richmond Tigers players involved in a fight outside a Gold Coast strip club.

Tigers pair Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones have been heavily sanctioned by the AFL, costing Richmond $100,000 in fines and each copping a 10-match ban after the two were involved in a fight while waiting for a kebab after leaving the club.

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Much of the footy world reacted furiously to the pair’s transgressions, and the matter was discussed during Channel 7’s AFL broadcast on Friday night.

Taylor was flabbergasted by the pair’s decisions, which he pointed out had carried the risk of ruining the entire season.

“No fine is big enough for what the players have done. And what they have done is put the entire competition under threat,” a furious Taylor opined.

“I feel like I say this every two or three weeks but the players, they simply are not learning.

“What could you be doing outside a souvlaki shop after attending a strippers? I mean, come on.”

His calling partner Wayne Carey was much more forgiving however, saying he felt for the two players in the wake of the scandal.

“I know they made a big mistake, but I can’t help but feel sorry for them,” Carey said.

“A huge, huge mistake, but I feel ill for them.

“They are under all sorts of pressure and will cop all sorts of criticism. Deservedly so, but I feel for them.”

Brian Taylor clashes with colleague over Tigers fine

The $100,000 fine handed to the Tigers also included $25,000 that had been suspended following a previous breach of COVID-19 rules after club captain Trent Cotchin’s wife Brooke visited a day spa.

Under AFL rules, a third breach by a member of Richmond's travel bubble could see them lose premiership points or draft picks.

However Taylor clashed with Channel 7 colleague and reporter Tom Browne, after he suggested the massive fine could end up costing someone at Richmond their job.

Richmond’s fine comes out of their football department salary cap - the pool of money used for club employees, equipment and other football expenses.

“The draft picks and even premiership points were there available. I think that’s what would really have hurt Richmond,” Browne said.

“Because under the soft cap — which is the amount you can spend on footy — that will be reduced and either you get less equipment or less staff.

“Whether it’s boot-strapping, whether it’s boots, whether it’s balls, I’ll tell you what it will be, it will be someone less this year — a yoga instructor or something.”

Taylor though, was not having it.

Richmond's Sydney Stack and teammate Callum Coleman-Jones will be sent home from the AFL's Gold Coast hub after breaking COVID-19 rules. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Richmond's Sydney Stack and teammate Callum Coleman-Jones will be sent home from the AFL's Gold Coast hub after breaking COVID-19 rules. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

He accused Browne of ‘sensationalising’ the potential consequences.

“The conversation that you and I had was that someone at the footy club is going to lose their job as a result of the sanction and it be taken out of the soft cap,” Taylor said.

“It doesn’t have to be a person’s position, it could be materialistic. It could be the number of footballs, the number of guernseys, the amount of tape they buy each year.

“Why are the media sensationalising it to someone’s job only? It could be any component out of the football component.”