Channel 7's managing director has spoken out amid the furore surrounding Daisy Pearce's dual roles with the broadcaster and the Geelong Cats. This week the Brisbane Lions became the second AFL team to inform Channel 7 that they wouldn't be allowing Pearce into the change-rooms after their clash with the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night.
Pearce, who retired from AFLW in January and is now working as an assistant coach for the Geelong men's team, was banned from the Richmond change-rooms in the opening round after their draw against Carlton. Pearce has been working as a commentator for Channel 7 for the past two years, but her new role with Geelong has sparked some concerns about her presence in rival teams' change-rooms.
'GOOD TO SEE': Ben Cousins development delights AFL world
Channel 7 are normally allowed access to the rooms to interview players and coaches after matches, but Richmond and Brisbane don't feel it's appropriate for Pearce because of her role at Geelong. On Tuesday, Channel 7's managing director Lewis Martin admitted they knew there might be some concerns about Pearce's dual roles.
“My view was that we’d roll along with the season and as Daisy’s role at Geelong has become a bit more clear, then obviously there were going to be some clubs to respond to that,” Martin told SEN radio. “We’ll respect that and have a chat with Daisy this week. Without dismissing it, because it’s a football issue, it’s not really critical for us.
“We’ll respect various clubs. Some clubs may be different, some clubs talked to us about it (in the) pre-season, it wasn’t an issue at all. But I think what happens . . . once that first ball is bounced, when you’re dealing with clubs (in) pre-season compared to when the season is on, they become different beasts and we appreciate that, it’s a highly, highly competitive competition.
“Again it’s not something we would force upon a club . . . because we’ve got so many options and Daisy’s insight on our broadcast is so valued, it’s not critical that she’s in the rooms, I guess."
Martin added: “I think it’s about the match day role. I don’t know by the way, I’m only guessing, Hock (Geelong CEO Steve Hocking) and I spoke about this regularly in the pre-season as to how her role would evolve.
“But I think when you spend time with Daisy, I think you’re understanding of her knowledge and insight into the game, it becomes quite apparent. I could be wrong, but I think perhaps her role at Geelong has even evolved deeper as she’s spent more time there.”
Richmond explain decision to ban Daisy Pearce
Carlton didn't have any concerns with Pearce's presence in the change-rooms in round one, while the Western Bulldogs have reportedly told Channel 7 that they won't ban her either. Richmond senior advisor Neil Balme said last week: “It probably seems a bit unkind but...you don’t really want assistant coaches from other clubs hanging around your rooms after the game to see what they can find out.
“I trust her to the point that that’s not what she’s there for, but you can’t do both jobs. I think it’s reasonable of us to say that. It’s certainly not personal.
“She could figure something out (about doing both roles). She’s got a lovely footy mind and Geelong are very lucky to have her. But to be able to do both jobs is a bit difficult sometimes.”
Pearce was on Friday night footy with Channel 7 last year, a move that controversially bumped Wayne Carey to Saturday nights. However Pearce has moved to Thursday nights in 2023 due to her commitments with Geelong, which saw her missing from the broadcast in round two when the Cats played Carlton on Thursday.
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.