Eagles CEO takes pot shot at Ross Lyon

Justin Chadwick
West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett wants Andrew Gaff's punch dealt with only by the AFL tribunal

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett has taken a swipe at Fremantle coach Ross Lyon as relations between the two clubs continue to plummet in the wake of Andrew Gaff's king hit.

Gaff could be suspended for the rest of the AFL season after breaking Andrew Brayshaw's jaw and displacing three teeth with an unprovoked punch during Sunday's western derby.

Nisbett has scoffed at talk Gaff's punch should be dealt with by the criminal courts, labelling such calls as inflammatory.

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has confirmed the punch thrown by Gaff will be assessed, and he has encouraged any parties directly connected with the matter to contact police.

But he also said it was rare for matters in professional sport to be dealt with by police, with the incident almost certain to be handled exclusively by the AFL Tribunal.

After Sunday's match, Lyon was highly critical of Gaff's actions, saying the incident happened "100 metres off the ball".

The actual figure was about 20 metres.

Nisbett said Lyon's comments weren't appropriate.

"I'd like to think that when you make those comments, you try to take out the emotion of the situation," Nisbett said.

"It's very difficult to do that, but you also need to be extremely accurate if you're going to make comments like that."

Nisbett said Lyon's comments were part of the reason why relations between the two clubs were so strained.

Prominent lawyer Tom Percy was quick to flag the prospect of criminal charges being laid against Gaff, saying he had seen people go to jail for less.

Nisbett wasn't impressed by those comments, and is hopeful the matter will be dealt with solely by the AFL.

"I thought Tom's comments were inappropriate and they inflamed the situation. We were very disappointed with what he had to say," Nisbett said.

"The AFL will deal with it, the player will get the penalty that the AFL tribunal deems as deserved in this case."

In 2015, Nisbett called for players to be deregistered for thuggish on-field acts after a player had his jaw broken during an amateur game in Perth.

When asked about those comments in relation to the current controversy surrounding Gaff, Nisbett replied: "I remember the incident, it happened at amateur level, and it was a totally different incident to this one."

Brayshaw underwent surgery on Sunday night, and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Nisbett apologised to Brayshaw over what had happened, and said Gaff has taken full ownership of the incident.