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Thread: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

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    Super Moderator Bunga's Avatar
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    Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    http://www.afl.com.au/news/2012-12-1...looms-for-dees
    THE AFL has all but finalised its five-month investigation into alleged match tanking at Melbourne, with the club to be provided with all findings before the Christmas break.

    The probe, into practices employed during Dean Bailey’s tenure as coach, is believed to have found adversely against former football manager Chris Connolly.

    No official sanctions have been determined, as that will be a matter for the AFL commission.

    The Demons will be given at least three weeks to review and respond to the AFL findings, and while Melbourne chief executive Cameron Schwab could not be contacted this afternoon, it is known the club has, on several occasions, made the AFL aware it would vigorously fight any seriously adverse charges against it.

    Depending on the degree of sanctions, Supreme Court action is a possibility.

    With the head of the AFL football operations department, Adrian Anderson, to officially sever ties with the organisation this week, the Melbourne probe was hastened in the past week.

    Certain Demons officials were told recently by the AFL to revisit responses provided in earlier interviews.

    AFL.com.au believes the investigating officers have been applying massive pressure on some witnesses to make admissions on certain incidents, or potentially face heavy sanctions.

    Anderson could not be contacted.
    http://www.afl.com.au/news/2012-12-1...looms-for-dees
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    After the slap on the wrist Trigg & co received I'm not exactly expecting justice to prevail here.
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    FFC Midpricer Pablo's Avatar
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    The adelaide saga was resolved with backroom deals forcing all parties to plead guilty and accept lesser penalties. By managing tippetgate this way, the AFL also avoided any pointy court cases by either parties. They managed all this despite no one involved feeling guilty at all.

    The AFL will attempt to manage this the same way.

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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    Exactly.

    The line about the AFL urging previously interviewed parties to reconsider their statements was the line that stood out the most.
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    Spot on.

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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    It would seem that the spotlight is being shone on a few others as well... Bailey, Schwab are also to face charges

    http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-new...#ixzz2HL9sDFwD

    LAWYERS representing the Melbourne Football Club and former coach Dean Bailey are dissecting a whopping 800 pages of evidence, and all but vowing to take the AFL to court if found guilty of allegations of tanking.
    The Demons board, chief executive Cameron Schwab, Chris Connolly – the former football manager still working at the club – and Bailey, must show reason by the end of the month to interim AFL football operations manager Gillon McLachlan as to why they should not be charged.
    The detailed and explosive documents fill two folders and were handed to all parties on the eve of Christmas.
    As tension between those facing sanctions and the AFL increases, it has emerged that Bailey is facing three allegations: bringing the game into disrepute, tampering with the national draft, and not coaching to his utmost in 2009.
    Schwab and Connolly are facing charges of bringing the game into disrepute and tampering with the draft.
    The documents are said to show that Brock McLean, the former Melbourne player now at Carlton, has backtracked on several of the statements he made on Fox Footy's On the Couch, the interview in July that sparked the investigation.
    The Demons and Bailey have engaged separate lawyers.
    All parties have questioned the manner in which interviews were conducted by AFL integrity officers Brett Clothier and Abraham Haddad. It's understood several of those interviewed felt they were pressured into making statements, or "verballed" in legal speak, with lawyers of the opinion that the line of questioning would not stand up in court.
    Lawyers will also argue over the definition of tanking, and question why other clubs have not been targeted.
    "The way the investigation has been carried out from a legal point of view is quite extraordinary, with some of the questioning," a source close to the Demons said.
    "There potentially could be a good challenge to the AFL rules. I think it's fairly fraught with danger the AFL going down this path."
    Asked if Supreme Court action was a strong possibility if the Demons were found guilty by the league, the source said: "I think there is some chance it will."
    Demons president Don McLardy has vowed to fight any charge.
    Bailey, now an assistant coach with Adelaide, is under immense stress and fears his career could be cut short if found guilty.
    He almost blew the whistle on the claims at his farewell press conference in 2011 after he was sacked. But those close to the Demons believe Schwab and Connolly are atop the AFL's investigation.
    The Demons have engaged former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein to lead their case.
    It's understood Finkelstein has an intricate knowledge of the AFL's laws, as he played a key role in the rewriting of these in the 1990s.
    The Demons were accused of tanking in 2009 in a bid to secure the top two picks of the national draft. The documents allege a secret meeting involving at least 15 members of the club's football department was held at the Junction Oval in which coaches were reminded of the importance of forfeiting matches to gain early draft picks.
    Connolly addressed the 2009 meeting, which was code-named "the vault".
    Schwab is being investigated for alleged incriminating conversations with coaches.
    The Demons won only four matches that season, with successive defeats to Sydney in round 17 and to Richmond raising suspicions.
    McLean, asked in July whether the Demons had tanked, said: "Definitely, and I think you would have to be blind Freddy to not figure that one out."
    The only way this stays out of the courts is if some major wheeling and dealing is done before the AFL Commission hearing in February.
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    This is going to be interesting... still can't see the AFL winning this if they haven't got written evidence to support it, relying on disgruntled former employees is just asking for character assassination in the courts and Melbourne have the very fair point of why are they the only team being targeted for this when just about every club has done it.
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    North Melbourne have never done it and I think the AFL has done a pretty good job of investigating this.

    Even if nothing comes of it I think they have achieved what they have set out to do anyway. I doubt that any teams will be doing anything similar for a while anyway.

    As for sanctions going forwards. I don't think the AFL will push too hard anyway.

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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    Adelaide have never tanked either, we stubbornly tried to rebuild without taking a fall. It didn't work but no one is going to accuse us of throwing matches.

    My stance on this is pretty clear. Throw the book at all of them and punish the club as they deserve. If Melbourne are insistent on taking the AFL to court then I would hope the AFL cut them off financially if they ask for aid.
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    I guess I take a different view.

    If the MFC can't adequately explain themselves and the charges hold up in the face of the evidence, then MFC cop a whack and that's fair enough.

    If the charges are not supported by the evidence, then MFC would be derelict in their duty to their 35,000 members, the sponsors and the fans to not fight the AFL on this. The MFC could be accused of biting the hand that has fed them if they do, but if the AFL feeds with one hand and punches the club in the guts with the other without good justification, then the club should defend itself. That is of course, I repeat, if the charges are not supported by the evidence.

    I'm not going to say any more until the evidence is revealed publicly and Melbourne come up with their official explanation.
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    This is becoming more like the Adelaide case with The Age being hand fed information to better educate the market before they hit Melbourne with their whack.

    I'm not expecting much because I have no faith in the AFL itself, who prefer to suit their own agenda.

    We all know Melbourne are guilty so I hope the AFL have a decent case up their sleeves.
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    Adelaide approached their charges unified, with the club's full support always behind the main players brought before the AFL. The AFL then wacked all involved, including the club.

    Reading the press (namely the age), it appears Melbourne won't be going in with the same approach and some of the people being investigated will need to tackle this with out the club's support.

    Will be interesting to see if Melbourne's approach results in lesser / no penalties for the club, and if so, whether Adelaide fans may feel a bit jibbed in hindsight.

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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo View Post
    Will be interesting to see if Melbourne's approach results in lesser / no penalties for the club, and if so, whether Adelaide fans may feel a bit jibbed in hindsight.
    The problem for Adelaide was that they unequivocally cheated and left a long trail of evidence to confirm it, they basically had no grounds on which to fight it and basically had to submit.

    The Melbourne case basically seems to be a case of "there was an incentive for you to tank" and "you didn't do what convention dictates" therefore you tanked and we have disgruntled former employees to confirm it. Basically it all sounds very circumstantial and he said, she said at this point.

    Basically Adelaide were caught waving to the camera while committing their crime and Melbourne have a bitter ex-girlfriend saying she saw them do it as the evidence (until they release something else at least).

    All of this changes if the AFL actually has any real evidence against Melbourne of course. The chaos merchant in me kind of wants to see it go to court just for the outcry as Melbourne drags just about every other teams name through the mud pointing out when each of them tanked and how the AFL will react to that, if they go down that path!
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    The old 'they did it, so we should be able to do it as well' defence will not hold up.

    As everyone else has said it is about how much evidence there is, the AFL can simply state that they don't have enough evidence to file against the Hawthorn/Carlton/Whoever Melbourne care to name drop. Especially as that line of defence admits guilt, which entirely tanks their case (pun intended).
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    Re: Spotlight on Connolly as 'tank' verdict looms

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Sledge #32 View Post
    The old 'they did it, so we should be able to do it as well' defence will not hold up.

    As everyone else has said it is about how much evidence there is, the AFL can simply state that they don't have enough evidence to file against the Hawthorn/Carlton/Whoever Melbourne care to name drop. Especially as that line of defence admits guilt, which entirely tanks their case (pun intended).
    Think you misinterpreted what I was saying, they will most certainly highlight countless other examples of "non-tanking" moves that are the same as the ones they did to show that they aren't tanking rather than trying to say that other teams are tanking so they should be able to. For example, the much beloved Johnson as a defender example could be countered by the Rutten as a defender or Grundy as a defender where it worked but also the Fevola as a defender where it failed miserably. Nearly every team has done what Melbourne can be proven to have done from the evidence presented so far and Melbourne I would think would point out countless examples to support it.

    Basically unless the AFL has actual evidence their case is built upon Melbourne attempting a bunch of unconventional moves, of which many clubs have done similar, and hear say, neither of which are an actual case from a legal point of view.

    That contrasts starkly with Adelaide where from very early in the piece it was well known that their was written evidence to support their cheating as well as a confession.

    So far the AFL hasn't actually put forward any evidence against Melbourne which is why it would be really interesting to see it go to court. Again... the disclaimer being that it all changes if the AFL actually produces something of substance against them.

    I like to apply the innocent until proven guilty motto and the AFL has provided absolutely nothing to prove Melbourne's guilt beyond the same level as all the other clubs that have tanked.
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