Grant Thomas has accused AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan of treating public like ‘imbeciles’
FORMER St Kilda coach Grant Thomas has lashed out at AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, saying he treats the public like ‘imbeciles’.
Thomas was responding to McLachlan’s press conference on Thursday, where the AFL boss refused to answer questions regarding proposed sanctions for Greater Western Sydney following the Lachie Whitfield drugs saga.
Thomas said McLachlan owes supporters more.
“I turned the iPad on and out jumped Gil McLachlan trying to bumble his way through some very reasonable questions about information the general football fan would like to hear,” Thomas told EON Sports Radio.
“He snapped back at the reporters and they, as usual, went back into their hole and became very fearful of asking Gil about GWS and any sanctions.
“It drove me insane. I just thought ‘who do you think you are, Gil?’ You are the administrator for our competition, owned by the fans, so tell the people what’s going on.
“Don’t hide behind deals and the stuff you do with your former AFL staffer Dave Matthews at GWS. It’s just pathetic.
“They treat us like imbeciles. Tell the truth, it doesn’t hurt. If you’ve made a slight error in judgment, people forgive very quickly. We don’t care. But don’t pee down our back and tell us it’s raining. It drives me insane, why do we put up with that?”
A Giants statement said former football boss Graeme Allan and former welfare manager Craig Lambert “did not conform with the clearly established club protocols, thus in no way relating to a governance failure on behalf of the club”.
But Thomas also questioned the rationale behind that suggestion, asking whether Essendon could have used the same statement in relation to its drugs penalties.
“I’d ask him to tell me the truth,” Thomas said.
“How the hell can you accept that the CEO for one of your clubs can say these people acted outside their protocol, so it’s not their fault? How does that work?
“I can go through every incident over the last 10 years and say ‘of course it’s outside the protocol of the club’, but you manage the protocol of clubs. It’s just ridiculous.
“That automatically exonerates every Essendon player, doesn’t it? Because didn’t (Stephen) Dank and others act outside the protocol of the club?
“Where does it stop and where does it finish?”
Originally published as ‘Who do you think you are, Gil?’
Like the original headline better.