- The AFL has indicated it won’t raid clubs during the season in its pursuit of a full-time football operations boss to replace Simon Lethlean, who resigned after a relationship with a female employee became public. With highly regarded St Kilda second-in-command Ameet Bains looming as a strong prospect for Lethlean’s role, it is believed that long-standing executive Andrew Dillon will potentially oversee the crucial football role until the end of the season.
- Gender expert Catharine Lumby and the National Council of Women have defended the two AFL executives who lost their jobs over their affairs.
- High-profile feminist Catharine Lumby has blasted the AFL’s decision to accept the resignations of two executives over workplace affairs, claiming she was shocked and concerned about moves to legislate consensual relationships.
- The AFL is facing mounting criticism over a decision to force the resignation of two executives over workplace affairs, with its hard-line approach going far beyond what is considered best practice across the corporate and government sectors.
- The AFL says it has not and will not consider playing any “live” round 23 matches concurrently to avoid teams taking advantage of the tight battle for finals positions, given the evenness of the season.
- NEXT year’s Commonwealth Games could present Darwin with a second AFL premiership fixture, AFLNT boss Michael Solomon said last night. Brisbane or the Gold Coast loom as potential candidates with their grounds locked in to hosting Games sports from April 4-15 next year.
- AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced on Saturday afternoon that a stand-alone women’s game between Victoria and the rest of the country will be played this September.
- Todd Greenberg is adamant the drawn out Collective Bargaining Agreement talks won’t hijack the NRL finals series – despite stressing the parties had until October 31 to strike a deal – as the NRL chief executive prepares to belatedly attend a fresh round of lock-in talks later in the week.
- Manly majority owner Scott Penn has called on the NRL to settle an inquiry into allegations of salary cap impropriety at the club as soon as possible, saying he would open their books to League Central investigators this week.
- A senior NSW judicial official has made explosive statements about the former Parramatta Eels board in a judgment, claiming at least some of its directors “connived” in the commissioning of offences that saw former club chief executive Scott Seward sentenced yesterday.
- Top-tier Australian rugby league side North Queensland Cowboys have renewed their longstanding principal partnership with Toyota. The three-year extension will see the National Rugby League (NRL) club continue to formally be known as the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys until 2020, and the car manufacturer’s logo will remain on the front of the team’s playing shirts.
- Manly Sea Eagles have expanded their sponsorship deal with United Resource Management for the rest of the 2017 season. The company’s logo, which already appears on the front of the Australian team’s home jerseys, will now also appear on the front of their away jerseys for the remainder of the year
ARU and Super Rugby
- THE much maligned format for the Super Rugby finals series is coming in for more criticism, especially from New Zealanders, now that the protagonists have been settled.
- Western Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry says having the backing of billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest will be a valuable weapon as the club continues to fight for Super Rugby survival.
- Western Force may just have amassed the on and off-field ammunition to survive the Super Rugby cull ahead of the Melbourne Rebels.
A-league and other football
- THE A-League players’ union has urged Football Federation Australia to seriously consider the merits of a national second division. Professional Footballers Australia CEO John Didulica has warned any efforts to “reverse engineer” a cut-price, semi-professional blueprint to suit state- league clubs would be doomed to fail.
- FIFA’s planned intervention into the governance of Australian football has been delayed, with FFA’s November 30 deadline to sort out its affairs creeping closer.
- Australia’s World Cup qualifying fate will be sealed at Melbourne’s AAMI Park, which has been confirmed as the venue for their last qualifier on the road to Russia. The Socceroos will play Thailand on September 5 at the 30,500-capacity venue.
- Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s changes to the skilled labour visa rules could have a “seismic and adverse impact on Australian football”, with uncertainty among A-League clubs about their ability to retain overseas talent.
- Football Federation Australia (FFA), the governing body for soccer in the country, has renewed its longstanding sponsorship agreement with Scentre Group-owned Westfield.The two-year extension will see the shopping centre chain retain the naming rights to the Australian women’s national team, who will continue under the nickname of the Westfield Matildas. Additionally, the Australian company will remain as the title sponsor of the W-League domestic club competition, the women’s youth national teams and the National Youth Championships for girls