Essendon Bombers great turned media commentator Tim Watson has questioned why Collingwood counterpart Shane Wakelin was allowed to sit on the Tribunal panel overseeing the Toby Greene case.
Watson made the observation given the GWS Giants are facing Wakelin’s former team in a preliminary final on Saturday.
Greene was at the Tribunal to appeal his one match ban for unnecessary contact to the eye region of Brisbane Lions’ Lachie Neale.
The Giants have confirmed they will escalate the case to the AFL appeals board on Thursday, in an effort to get Greene on the park as they seek to make their first grand final.
But conspiracy theories have flourished about the case, after Watson questioned whether Wakelin, who was celebrating Collingwood’s qualifying final win in the club rooms two weeks ago, should have been deciding a case that directly affected the Magpies’ chances.
Wakelin appeared on the ‘Roaming Brian’ segment on Channel 7 after the game, in which host Brian Taylor roams the winning rooms for spontaneous interviews with those celebrating.
this remains the best tweet on Toby Greene this week https://t.co/1cHEfzz6qf— Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) September 17, 2019
While Watson was careful not to suggest Wakelin had acted inappropriately, he did question whether the AFL had gone to the ‘deep end’ of available panel members to hear the case.
“Do you think they went to the shallow end of the pool or they went to the deep end?” Watson said on SEN Breakfast.
Joined by Herald Sun reporter Sam Edmund, the pair agreed that while it was unlikely Wakelin’s Collingwood background had any bearing on the outcome, it was nonetheless a ‘bad look’ for the AFL.
“We’re being a bit silly with it, but this is Roaming Brian after the first final,” Edmund said.
“Shane Wakelin was actually in the Collingwood rooms. Perhaps it’s just bad optics, as Gill McLachlan would say.
“I’m not saying they’re anything other than super professional, but I’m saying it’s a bad look.
“If you’re on an independent Tribunal, to be in the rooms of a team that is contending at the very pointy end of the season is a bad look.”