North Melbourne appears to be a complete mess with the club still faltering over bombshell allegations directed at incoming manager Alastair Clarkson.
The four-time Premiership manager says he is “shocked” to read the serious historical allegations of the mistreatment of indigenous players during his time at Hawthorn Football Club, refuting any wrongdoing or misconduct.
On Wednesday, ABC Sport reported that an external review by Hawthorn Football Club had uncovered allegations that senior Hawthorn staff required the separation of First Nations players from their partners and pressured a player and his partner to stop. a pregnancy for the sake of her career.
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North Melbourne confirmed Clarkson’s mandate will be delayed as the AFL Integrity Unit investigates the allegations. She was supposed to start work on November 1st.
North Melbourne legend – and assistant manager – Brent Harvey on Friday morning revealed how significantly the bombing allegations have impacted the club.
He said the club’s coaching staff are “in the dark” about Clarkson’s immediate future and there is uncertainty about what the club will look like when players return for pre-season training.
The club also has the 2022 trading period to run.
“We don’t know literally. We are in the dark right now, ”Harvey told RSN Breakfast club.
“So it will be interesting to go on. No. 1, how the football club reacts and No. 2, what we do as a coaching group, because we are already short of two. We have already got rid of two coaches and we haven’t added any yet ”.
He went on to say, “We know what we’re going to do. The show goes on. We will miss a coach and do a pre-season training. Some of the coaches will have to come forward, myself included. I’m part-time, I might have to do a little more. “
He said the club’s coaching staff will meet for the first time on November 7, but Clarkson is unlikely to be there.
After a disastrous season in which the club only won two games, North Melbourne sacked football boss Dan McPherson and assistant coaches Heath Younie and Anthony Rocca.
By the time Clarkson’s tenure begins, the club will have had four senior coaches in 24 months: Rhyce Shaw, David Noble, Leigh Adams and now Clarkson.
“It’s unbelievable,” Harvey said.
“We will have five coaches in 15 minutes and that’s when you think about it.”
He said the allegations directed at Clarkson were “hard to understand,” but he also said he only heard one side of the story.
Clarkson released a statement Wednesday evening saying he was “not given any due process” during Hawthorn’s commissioned external investigation.
“The health, care and well-being of our players, staff and their families have always been my top priorities during my time at Hawthorn Football Club,” the statement read.
“I was therefore shocked by the extremely serious allegations reported in the media earlier today. I was not interviewed by the authors of the minutes commissioned by the club, nor was a copy of the minutes provided.
“I have not been granted any due process and denial of any allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct and I look forward to the opportunity to be heard as part of the AFL’s external investigation.
“I contacted the president of the North Melbourne Football Club today and we mutually agreed that I will step back from my responsibilities at the club so that I can fully cooperate with the investigation.
“As the issues are now being investigated, I will not comment further at this stage.”
Clarkson was announced last month as North Melbourne’s new manager with a five-year contract that would be worth $ 5 million.
Clarkson’s former Hawthorn deputy and current Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan also released a statement Thursday “categorically” denying allegations of mistreatment of indigenous players.
“I was shocked and deeply distressed by the allegations reported in the media yesterday regarding my time at Hawthorn Football Club,” said Fagan.
“I categorically deny the allegations that I have made a mistake on my part in relation to the Hawthorn Football Club First Nations players. I have had very positive relationships with First Nations players during my many years in football, and indeed with players from different racial and ethnic groups.
“I have not had the opportunity, and I have not participated in any way, in the review commissioned by the Hawthorn Football Club. I have not been interviewed. Nor was I invited to be interviewed. No one associated with the review has ever made me any accusations for an answer.
“I’m going to defend myself. My hope is that people will judge me based on how I actually behave and not based on what is written in the media. I support and welcome the investigation announced yesterday by the AFL. I intend to participate fully in the investigation and look forward to being heard and due to due process and fairness.
In the meantime, as announced yesterday by the Brisbane Lions Football Club, the club and I have mutually agreed that I will take a leave of the club.
“As the matter is now under investigation, I will not comment further at this stage.”
The AFL Integrity Unit is now investigating the allegations.
Originally released as shockwaves the AFL scandal leaves northern Melbourne in ruins