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Kane Cornes lets rip at Max Gawn over spiralling Melbourne culture saga

Max Gawn and his wife have taken Clayton Oliver into his home amid the Demons drama.

Max Gawn reacts and Joel Smith celebrates.

AFL great Kane Cornes has called out Melbourne Demons captain Max Gawn as the captain defended the club's culture amid a number of dramas involving Clayton Oliver and Joel Smith. Olive has been at the centre of headlines for Melbourne in the last few weeks, before he put to bed speculation he could be leaving the club.

Captain Gawn recently revealed he and his wife have have taken Oliver into their home as he looks to build for the 2024 season in the off-season. Oliver's drama has come after coach Simon Goodwin made a point of doubling down on Melbourne's culture and said he would be uncompromising over their values.

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Last week, the AFL provisionally suspended Smith after he returned a positive cocaine result following his round 23 match against Hawthorn. Smith is reportedly facing a three-month suspension. And following all the drama, Gawn defended the club's culture in an interview on Channel 7 and claimed these incidents are situations most clubs face.

The captain also claimed he was 'bullish' as captain over the club's culture, but the adversity has all come at once for the besieged team. However, Cornes was stunned at Gawn's defence and called out his claim most clubs deal with similar drama. “Max Gawn says this happens at most clubs. Well, no, it doesn‘t," Cornes said on SEN Radio.

After calling out his defence of Smith, Cornes let rip at Gawn, Goodwin and the club after they keep raising the quality of the club's culture.

“Max Gawn’s sitting here telling us the culture’s good and Simon Goodwin is doing the same. I think they need to be a bit more honest about where their football club is at,” he added. "This isn’t an isolated event and it’s certainly, I think, incredibly serious...This doesn’t happen, Max, at every other club.”

Kane Cornes waves to the crowd.
Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes (pictured) has taken aim at Max Gawn and the Melbourne Demons culture. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) (Quinn Rooney via Getty Images)

Max Gawn opens up on Clayton Oliver assistance

Earlier in October, Gawn admitted his family had opened the door to Oliver as he worked his way back into the club's good books. And he spoke about their relationship as captain and teammate on the weekend.

"I'm in pretty good dialogue with him and we talk every day and he's been (staying) at my house for a while, so I think Clayton is going really well," Gawn told Channel 7. "I understand the noise that is coming about Clayton could really bring someone down, but I feel like the support that he's got around him will help him get through it."

Clayton Oliver dejected.
Clayton Oliver (pictured right) has been staying at captain Max Gawn's home after a number of dramas. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

In a pointed message at Melbourne's end-of-season awards night, Goodwin called out any players that were unwavering towards the team's culture. This came after Oliver met with club officials earlier in the month and was reportedly told to "shape up or ship off".

“One thing that has enabled us to keep showing up is our culture,” Goodwin said. “A culture that has been built over a period of time and is the piece that we will be uncompromising in maintaining and building further to achieve the ultimate success."

Goodwin then elaborated on the team environment and said every player needs to be on board. “Everyone...needs to be heading in the same direction. As we head into the off-season, I’ve never been more confident that we can achieve this as a club.”

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