Infotainment Factory: Bartel's extraordinary 'match fixing' claim

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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Bartel's extraordinary 'match fixing' claim


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Brownlow Medalist Jimmy Bartel has taken a huge swipe at the Melbourne Demons following allegations of tanking, saying their conduct a decade ago should be labelled “match fixing”, not tanking.

As reported by the Herald Sun on Friday, several officials at the club claim the directive from the top during the late Dean Bailey's tenure as coach was to deliberately lose in favour of obtaining a priority pick.

Transcripts from the AFL's investigation reveal that former Demons football manager Chris Connolly pressured Bailey and the football department not to win more than four games in 2009.

“Let’s call it what it really is,” Bartel told Macquarie Sports Radio on Friday.

Tanking is a nice word (but) it’s match fixing – I don’t get why we dance around it.

“You can’t go out and deliberately stack a game so your side doesn’t win for a future draft pick, that is match fixing at its finest.”

The former Geelong star said the system was set up to help those teams who were struggling at the bottom of the ladder with the priority pick, which culminated in teams with five or less wins picking up an extra player.

"If you had under five wins you got an additional high-end draft pick, so you could have the chance of picking up premium young talent in the top five," Bartel said.

"The coach and the football manager openly admitted to not picking players to not win games. The transcripts confirmed the Demons didn't pick players to win games, deliberately didn't rotate players through the games and played young players over experienced players."

Bartel said the decision made by the Demons' hierarchy had an adverse affect on the older players who were held to deal with lower standards for the sake of the club trying to improve the team for future years.

"The really disappointing thing for the experienced players is their whole life they've put into AFL footy and they're not being picked because the club wants to deliberately tank."

The AFL reportedly had all the information about the Demons' attempts to tank but Bartel was sceptical about the punishment that was handed down as a result.

The Demons were fined $500,000 over the matter but Bartel said the fine would have barely registered on the clubs books.

"You're not getting a $500,000 fine because all you do is write down an additional $500,000 loss on your P&L (profit and loss statement) and you ask the AFL for an extra $500,000," Bartel said.

Gillon McLachlan

Former Demons player Brock McLean said players approached then coach Dean Bailey about the club's direction in 2009.

McLean said there was nothing the players could do to stop the tanking, with officials urging the players to "toe the line". While McLean said he and his teammates played in the true spirit of the game, there were decisions made by the club that didn't sit well with them.

"I'm not sure if conspiring is the right word, I just think we weren't given the best opportunity to develop a winning attitude or winning habits," McLean told SEN.

"A couple of us went and spoke to Dean at one stage. A lot of us were uncomfortable with what was going on, and the response from Dean was, 'We've just all got to be on the same page, we've all got to toe the line'.

"I don't think that's the answer we wanted, but that was one thing we had to try and instil among the group was to all be on the same page and not let any sort of fractures get within the group."

The former Demon said it's a chapter in his life he'd rather avoid and that it's a shame that former coach Bailey, who died in 2014, wasn't around to corroborate the claims.

"I was hoping that something like this wouldn't come up," McLean said.

"It's a little bit sad that Dean's not here to be able to back up what he said and speak in his defence because I think there will be some people who call him a liar.

"Nobody ran out there and said we are going to deliberately lose. The playing group never, ever said that."

Brownlow Medalist Jimmy Bartel has taken a huge swipe at the Melbourne Demons following allegations of tanking, saying their conduct a decade ago should be labelled “match fixing”, not tanking.

As reported by the Herald Sun on Friday, several officials at the club claim the directive from the top during the late Dean Bailey's tenure as coach was to deliberately lose in favour of obtaining a priority pick.

Transcripts from the AFL's investigation reveal that former Demons football manager Chris Connolly pressured Bailey and the football department not to win more than four games in 2009.

“Let’s call it what it really is,” Bartel told Macquarie Sports Radio on Friday.

Tanking is a nice word (but) it’s match fixing – I don’t get why we dance around it.

“You can’t go out and deliberately stack a game so your side doesn’t win for a future draft pick, that is match fixing at its finest.”

The former Geelong star said the system was set up to help those teams who were struggling at the bottom of the ladder with the priority pick, which culminated in teams with five or less wins picking up an extra player.

"If you had under five wins you got an additional high-end draft pick, so you could have the chance of picking up premium young talent in the top five," Bartel said.

"The coach and the football manager openly admitted to not picking players to not win games. The transcripts confirmed the Demons didn't pick players to win games, deliberately didn't rotate players through the games and played young players over experienced players."

Bartel said the decision made by the Demons' hierarchy had an adverse affect on the older players who were held to deal with lower standards for the sake of the club trying to improve the team for future years.

"The really disappointing thing for the experienced players is their whole life they've put into AFL footy and they're not being picked because the club wants to deliberately tank."

The AFL reportedly had all the information about the Demons' attempts to tank but Bartel was sceptical about the punishment that was handed down as a result.

The Demons were fined $500,000 over the matter but Bartel said the fine would have barely registered on the clubs books.

"You're not getting a $500,000 fine because all you do is write down an additional $500,000 loss on your P&L (profit and loss statement) and you ask the AFL for an extra $500,000," Bartel said.

Gillon McLachlan

Former Demons player Brock McLean said players approached then coach Dean Bailey about the club's direction in 2009.

McLean said there was nothing the players could do to stop the tanking, with officials urging the players to "toe the line". While McLean said he and his teammates played in the true spirit of the game, there were decisions made by the club that didn't sit well with them.

"I'm not sure if conspiring is the right word, I just think we weren't given the best opportunity to develop a winning attitude or winning habits," McLean told SEN.

"A couple of us went and spoke to Dean at one stage. A lot of us were uncomfortable with what was going on, and the response from Dean was, 'We've just all got to be on the same page, we've all got to toe the line'.

"I don't think that's the answer we wanted, but that was one thing we had to try and instil among the group was to all be on the same page and not let any sort of fractures get within the group."

The former Demon said it's a chapter in his life he'd rather avoid and that it's a shame that former coach Bailey, who died in 2014, wasn't around to corroborate the claims.

"I was hoping that something like this wouldn't come up," McLean said.

"It's a little bit sad that Dean's not here to be able to back up what he said and speak in his defence because I think there will be some people who call him a liar.

"Nobody ran out there and said we are going to deliberately lose. The playing group never, ever said that."

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