After AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan’s comments on Sportsday last night, urging Stephen Coniglio to stay at GWS, the footy world has bit back hard.
Fans and commentators alike have called him out for stepping into a territory that an impartial chief should not touch.
Tim Watson has joined the chorus, suggesting those comments could have greater ramifications.
“The opposition to what he said, there as enormous opposition from footy fans out there that the CEO of the AFL shouldn’t be making those comments,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“And this is one of the reasons why. If Coniglio does stay now, there will be people that are suspicious as to the reasons why he stayed. What inference did the AFL have in all of this?
“Did the offer some more money somewhere? Has there been a deal done? Are they going to offer him a job in football somewhere?
“I don’t think Gil in his position should be making commentary about where players go or where players don’t go.”
Garry Lyon agreed, saying McLachlan has now opened a can of worms.
“I don’t think he did it maliciously I think he did it as a footy observer, albeit the most powerful one,” he said.
“You have to understand the ramifications of comments like that because everyone else that loses a player somewhere along the way that they don’t want to lose are going to say hey, why isn’t the AFL CEO coming out and being explicit on our players?
“Is he going to be explicit on Tim Kelly staying at Geelong? That’s the problem.”