Former Collingwood and Carlton head coach Mick Malthouse has launched an extraordinary attack on the AFL, claiming clubs had no faith in the Tribunal system.
The 66-year-old premiership winner made several astonishing claims in an interview with ABC Radio Melbourne, where he had been asked to comment on GWS Giants midfielder Toby Greene’s case.
Greene’s final appeal against his one match ban for unneccesary contact to the face of Brisbane’s Lachie Neale was thrown out on Thursday night, much to the chagrin of many high-profile AFL figures.
Malthouse told the ABC the AFL was ‘club-centric’ and ‘name-centric’ and criticised what he believed was a lack of consistency in their decision-making in Tribunal.
"I have a problem with the tribunal, period — it's not a matter of week to week," Malthouse said.
“They are horrible, they are inconsistent, they are name-centric, they are club-centric, they are a lot of things and I just don't think that they've got a system in place that many football clubs and certainly footballers have any faith in. And that's got to change.
"I have no faith in the tribunal system nor the appeals board. I've been through that with Anthony Rocca when I was at Collingwood in the early 2000s.”
Giants furious, but AFL hit back
The GWS Giants, as well as Greene’s agent Paul Connors, reacted angrily to the AFL Appeals Board’s decision on Thursday night.
Connors said after the hearing that he had ‘never seen a worse decision’, while Greene himself said after the hearing that he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ with the outcome.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan hit back at the criticism in a radio interview of his own on Friday morning.
McLachlan said it was ‘clearly wrong’ to suggest Greene had been ‘victimised’, as Connors had.
"I think that's clearly wrong," McLachlan told 3AW radio on Friday.
"He's the manager of the player ... and clearly emotional."
McLachlan refused to say whether he believed Greene deserved to be suspended or not.
"I'm not going to comment on that," he said.
"Other to say, the MRO (match review officer) made a decision, it went to the tribunal - an independent tribunal made a decision to uphold it.
"And then it went to the appeals board which are chaired by an ex-Supreme Court justice, lawyers on there with a history on football, and they have said that the decision wasn't unreasonable.
"It has gone through the process. Everyone has their views but an independent process has validated this."