Kane Cornes responds after Alastair Clarkson learns fate over latest ugly incident in AFL

Clarkson's notoriously fiery temper landed him in hot water again with AFL officials.

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has weighed in on the AFL's decision to clear North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson over a "vile" outburst in last week's loss against the Power. The AFL launched an investigation into the actions of the Kangaroos coach and whether or not his foul-mouthed spray was directed towards umpires.

It is widely understood Clarkson yelled out "f*****g c***" while standing near the boundary after an umpiring decision went against his side in the 59-point loss to the Power. But the AFL's investigation concluded there was no proof that it was directed at officials, saving Clarkson from a two-game suspended ban that could have been triggered.

If the AFL had found the four-time Hawthorn premiership coach guilty of conduct unbecoming, he would have been banned for two games, having also been fined $20,000 and hit with an official warning over a homophobic slur against St Kilda players earlier in the year. But on Thursday night, the league announced no action would be taken against Clarkson for his latest incident.

Kane Cornes has weighed in on the AFL's decision of a foul-mouthed incident involving North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson. Pic: Fox Footy/Getty
Kane Cornes has weighed in on the AFL's decision of a foul-mouthed incident involving North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson. Pic: Fox Footy/Getty

The coach has a long history of flare-ups and confrontations, which includes 12 misdemeanours since 2006. "The AFL was made aware of the alleged comments by a match day official post-game who heard the comments, with the investigations unit following up the report," the league said in a statement. "Clarkson has admitted to loudly swearing and using inappropriate language while standing near the umpires and officials' bench in response to an umpiring decision during the third quarter.

"After talking to match officials, the AFL was not able to be comfortably satisfied that Clarkson's swearing was directed towards a specific person or persons and in particular an AFL match official or officials and as such no finding of a breach of AFL rules has been made." Clarkson will not coach from the boundary line for the rest of the season and revealed he will continue to seek help for controlling his notorious temper.

Seen here, North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson in the AFL.
North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson has a lengthy rap sheet of offences across his career in the AFL. Pic: Getty

"I acknowledge that... in a moment of frustration I lost my temper and swore while I was coaching from the bench. It was undisciplined by me and I have expressed my apologies to the AFL," the Kangaroos coach said in a statement. "As a club we can do without these distractions and as such I have agreed that it's best if I remain in the coaches' box on match days for the rest of this season. In the meantime I'll continue to seek support on how I deal with these moments."


Speaking in the wake of the AFL's decision on Clarkson, former Port Adelaide premiership winner and AFL pundit Cornes said he was glad the coach was cleared. Cornes said it would have been a different story if Clarkson had directed the vulgar language at any one person or group of individuals, but he shouldn't be punished for just swearing out loud in frustration.

“I’m happy that he has been cleared,” Cornes told SEN’s Sportsday. “I mean, goodness me. If people were suspended for using poor language on the interchange bench, no one would be coaching. Look at the language that I am sure they’re using in the coaches box. Just because one of them is sitting on the bench showing some frustration.

“I couldn’t believe the overreaction to this. If he’s gone up to someone in their face and aggressively sworn at them, different story. Throw the book at him. If he’s just said it in frustration and not directed at anybody in particular – that’s been happening in football for 100 years. How soft are we going to get if you can’t handle that? I’m so glad the AFL have done this, and I’ve been hard on Clarkson, I think it’s the right call.”

with AAP