Red faces at Melbourne Demons Football Club as dirty laundry is aired

Roffey was doubly embarrassed this week after a group of Melbourne players hit Greville Street, Prahran on Sunday night for a damaging dinner, which led to Jake Melksham hitting Steven May. The fact that May was drinking against the rules, that no one was able to stop him, and that he was beaten for allegedly taunting and belittling his teammates was also troubling.


This incident bears no resemblance to the wonderful team culture that Roffey has repeatedly touted since becoming premier. Melbourne need May in their backline but he will not be available for Monday’s crucial Queen’s birthday clash. May may have matured tremendously, as her coach pointed out on Friday, but this is a major setback.

Melbourne needs a decisive victory on Monday as it prepares for further revelations in the year leading up to its first flag in 57 years. On Thursday, it was CEO Gary Pert’s turn to be embarrassed as his management style was brutally appraised by McLachlan as more transcripts were released.

The suggestion was that Pert was interfering in trying to save Goodwin as at least one key manager at the club wanted Goodwin’s behavior looked into with a view to potentially terminating his contract. McLachlan is quoted as saying of the beleaguered coach: “There are two things here, one about his health and well-being and then a wider reputation issue, including his ability to do the job…”


Certainly more exciting stuff, although Pert and McLachlan had already made their peace over the latter’s comments, which included this advice to Melbourne directors on how to handle Pert: “Gary shut the f — and listen, or you will go. “

These types of conversations are not unusual at the highest level of the AFL, just as they would characterize the most robust corporate workplaces. Again, the amazing fact is that they have been publicly revealed. Most worrying for Melbourne is the great depth of information kept in phone records, emails and other documents that could come to light, including details of staff and player mental health, illicit drug use or abuse. other previously sacrosanct information.

But just as important to the club and Melbourne’s off-pitch bosses is how Pert is emerging as a 2021 premiership hero. The strong faith the Demons boss had in the senior coach after his football review , the efforts he was willing to make to defend it, not to mention the obvious success of the changes he implemented, were again highlighted.

And Roffey? His biggest misstep appears in these text messages as being typical of an impassioned club manager speaking after a beating and a phone style with a predilection for unhappy emojis. After enjoying a triumphant first year in the role, she remains the drought-breaking prime minister’s chair whose working relationship with her CEO looks as solid as any in the competition. Pert’s private support of Roffey this week was reminiscent of Gawn’s support of Goodwin in February.

The big test for the club is how they react to reminders of their troubled recent past. Goodwin could have been defensive but didn’t gild the lily on Friday when he tackled the May-Melksham bout. But he laughed off a question about the meeting with head office and denied having behavioral issues.

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