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Melbourne tanking allegations 'sickening'

Posted by: Neil Mitchell | 31 October, 2012 - 9:27 AM

This is about emotion. I am a Melbourne supporter and I feel a bit sick this morning because the evidence is growing that there was an official deliberate strategy not to win games, to pick up draft picks.

Now, I like most people had assumed there was a stage when they didn’t care if they lost because it meant better picks.

LISTEN BELOW: Former Melbourne Football Club President Paul Gardner

But I wouldn’t have thought there was a deliberate strategy, orchestrated, discussed and organised. If there was, and it is still an allegation, it disgusts me. It disappoints me. It makes me feel dirty.

Caroline Wilson has a lot of detail in The Age today about meetings: Who was there and what was said. If she is right, people need to be punished and the system needs to change.

I have supported this club all my life and since 1964 they haven't had a premiership. Two grand final appearances is all they have in that time. If they worked to throw games, it undermines everything I have believed in for the club. It makes my support a joke and yours.

People invest emotion in these teams. People cry if they lose. People hand over their $100 membership and actually care. They defend their club and they take a ribbing and they show loyalty, bloody loyalty for heaven’s sake.

And if a club goes out to lose it breaks that trust, it insults every supporter and it takes their money under false pretenses.

Talking of money, people actually bet on games. If they have been thrown, that has huge legal implications.

But it is the emotional investment I care about here. This is a breach of trust by Melbourne if it happened, a massive breach of faith with supporters who have stayed around while we got thrashed.

At least on the basis we had hope, we had a chance and we were trying.

It disgusts me. 

What’s left in sport? Cycling has been destroyed the the drug culture. Cricket, not Australia but others, match fixing. Racing, heaven knows what is going on there. In soccer, you even have idiots taking a dive.

And now we have football with serious accusations of playing to lose.

We tell kids sport is healthy. It breeds self respect and a sense of responsibility and accountability. We want our kids to get into sport because it builds a work ethic and a sense of team.

Not any more.

They might be better off playing video games. At least everybody is fair dinkum then.


LISTEN: Former Melbourne Football Club President Paul Gardner

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AFL Tanking investigation escalates

Melbourne Demons TANKING: The AFL investigation into the Demons tanking scandal is being ramped up. The Age report several key witnesses have come forward with fresh evidence including repeated versions of at least one meeting in 2009.


Mornings with Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell Neil Mitchell is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists. He sets the Melbourne news agenda every day from 8:30am to 12pm.




Blog comments Your Say

  • I want to see Talking Footy Show back on now and hear Caroline Wilson and Garry Lyon debate this out about The Melbourne Football Club tanking. Considering there is nothing on television worth watching lately.

    Jillian Thursday 1 November, 2012 - 11:05 AM
  • Charge any individual involved heavily, never allow them to work in the AFL industry again, taking draft picks wouldn't be the right things as mark Neeld and current players had nothing to do with this, and are struggling enough as it is. I'm a Melbourne supporter and all i want is to see anyone who thinks tanking is acceptable out of the AFL without destroying the MFC in the process

    Ben Thursday 1 November, 2012 - 9:50 AM
  • Niel, you feel "sick" because of the actions of a bunch of meathead footballers? You really need to get a life. There's alot more entertaining and worthwhile ways of spending your time than watching this midnless "sport".

    Peter Hillster Thursday 1 November, 2012 - 6:24 AM
  • as a demon member for years I am gutted....I know players were played out of their positions ( once the year was over for them)..but many many clubs do this,. Listen to the likes of Eddie who say no to punishment COS like lots of clubs this is/was common practice. Sort this out now Mr AFL...I have just renewed my MFC membership for 2013 and want to watch and support AFL footy !!!!!

    TB Wednesday 31 October, 2012 - 9:44 PM
  • im sick of people sooking about cheating in sport.all elite sportsman and elite clubs cheat whenever they think they can get away with it.let them cheat,take drugs or whatever they need to do to compete at the highest leve.stop whinging and let the sportsman get on with it,i want to watch...

    garry Wednesday 31 October, 2012 - 7:41 PM
  • Take the draft picks off them for the next two 2 yrs and give those picks to the teams that they had beaten or drew with. There is no place in the AFL for cheats

    Ben Wednesday 31 October, 2012 - 2:56 PM

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