GWS fined $20k for McCartney umpire spray

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Greater Western Sydney have been slugged with a $20,000 fine after their general manager of football Jason McCartney launched a mid-match tirade at the umpires.

McCartney approached the umpires at half-time of the Giants' 39-point loss to Western Bulldogs in Canberra last week.

The Giants trailed by just eight points at the time, but McCartney was furious at the lopsided free-kick count that heavily favoured the Bulldogs.

It's been reported McCartney swore during the exchange, but the AFL didn't release any details other to confirm the approach had breached the league's rules.

"I unreservedly apologise and accept responsibility for my actions on Friday night," McCartney said.

"Umpires play a vital role at all levels of our game and those of us fortunate enough to work at the elite level must set an example in the way we show respect towards those officiating our game."

AFL footy boss Steve Hocking said all officials, coaches and players have an obligation to maintain the standards of the code and to take a leadership role in setting the right example in demonstrating respect for umpires.

"We can never underestimate the impact of the actions of those at AFL level on all levels of the game," Hocking said.

"Whether you are involved in Australian football at the elite level or the community level, everyone has a responsibility to demonstrate respect towards umpires at all times.

"The rules are clear. Disrespect towards umpires has no place in our game."

McCartney had played 181 AFL games across stints with Collingwood, Adelaide and North Melbourne before almost being killed in the 2002 Bali bombings.

He made it back for one final AFL appearance - North Melbourne's three-point win over Richmond in round 11 of 2003 - before announcing his retirement after the match at the age of 29.

McCartney spent six years at the Bulldogs before joining the Giants in 2017 as the club's list manager.