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Jeff Kennett backs ‘boys club’ claims about AFL amid cost-cutting

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Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says there’s “no doubt” the AFL has been plagued by a “boys club” culture.

The comments come amid accusations of an internal culture of bullying and intimidation by state umpiring manager, Pierce Field, who is one of the staff being made redundant as part of the AFL’s cost-cutting due to COVID-19.

He’s leading union action on the matter.

Mr Kennett told Neil Mitchell he wasn’t surprised with the savage job cuts, given how “top-heavy” the AFL was.

But he questioned the timing of Field’s comments.

“Up until the last few years it has, without a doubt, been a boys club in my opinion,” Mr Kennett said on 3AW.

“It was only the introduction of AFLW that we started to put a different emphasis on the organisation.

“That’s not to say there weren’t women within the organisation before then, there were, there are and some very, very good women but I find it a bit extraordinary that people complain only on the way out.”

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(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)