Damien Hardwick's frosty attitude towards Richmond being forced to play a home game at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium instead of the MCG last weekend has been fiercely criticised by former player Kane Cornes.
The Tigers coach made it clear after last weekend's win over the GWS Giants that the club would prefer for all its home games to be at the MCG.
Their four-point win over the Giants, a rematch of the 2019 Grand Final, drew 18,798 fans to Marvel Stadium, leading Hardwick to suggest a bigger crowd would have fronted up at the MCG.
Saturday's match is the only time this season the Tigers hosted a home game at Marvel Stadium.
"It’s a pretty simple solution for mine. If you want big crowds, play our home games at the ‘G,” he said.
“Mate, I hate coming here. I probably shouldn’t say that. The MCG has got soul, it’s got Richmond people there. Our people don’t come here. Plain and simple."
Speaking on Channel 9's Footy Classified on Monday night, Cornes said the Tigers had a ridiculous attitude towards one home game being moved across town.
The former Port Adelaide premiership player said Richmond weren't complaining when other clubs copped similar venue decisions, such as Geelong's 2019 home final against West Coast being played at the MCG rather than in Geelong.
“One of the most precious things I‘ve ever seen. They are so precious at the moment,” he said.
“They have had the biggest fixture free kick in the history of the game for the last four years, to the point where they‘ve played home finals at the MCG that they haven’t deserved. Geelong have earned and been moved to the MCG.
“I just get the feeling that every time I turn the TV on or on social media you hear coaches whinging at the moment.
“From where we were last year, Richmond would‘ve loved to have 18,000 at Marvel and produce one of the great home and away games of the year.
“The coaches have a responsibility at times to talk the game up. It‘s never been better, but every time the coaches are talking, they’re talking it down at the moment.”
Tigers up in arms about Marvel Stadium home games
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale this week said playing Saturday night's home match against Greater Western Sydney away from the MCG would "minimise crowds" and cost his club "hundreds of thousands of dollars".
During the build-up, Hardwick said he was happy to play "anytime, anywhere" and that the venue didn't concern him.
But the three-time premiership coach changed his tune after just 18,798 fans were on hand to witness the Tigers' thrilling four-point win over the Giants.
"The truth of the matter is you can play Richmond games here (at Marvel Stadium), but they don't come," Hardwick said.
"So if you want big crowds, play our home games at the 'G. It's a pretty simple solution for mine."
Richmond boast more than 100,000 members and have averaged crowds of more than 50,000 in four home matches at the MCG so far this season.
Richmond's remaining six home matches this season are all scheduled at the MCG.
They will also play four away matches at the ground in 2021, including one against Geelong.
The Tigers, who beat St Kilda in an away match at Marvel Stadium in round five, are not scheduled to play at the Docklands venue again this season.
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