One of the most respected figures in Australian rules football has flamed Collingwood over its handling of Jordan De Goey’s Bali scandal, saying with a huge dose of sarcasm: “suspended for a draconian 60 days”.
After Collingwood released a 500-word statement but only revealed a suspended sanction of $25,000 held in limbo until the end of the Magpies’ season, Gerard Healy blasted the club on 3AW’s Sportsday.
“It was a classic apology … straight from the crisis-management handbook with De Goey saying all the right things: falling on his sword, vowing to get better, again,” Healy said.
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“And just in case there was any doubt about how serious the club thought this was, they handed him a savage $25,000 fine. Well, sort of, because it’s suspended. Not for the rest of his days at Collingwood, not for four years if he signs, or even two years, but for eight weeks if they miss the finals and a week or two more if they play in September.
“Now, if you don’t think he deserved a penalty – and I accept that was a debatable argument for some – then don’t give him one.
“But if Collingwood thinks he has badly wronged the club, as we just heard (chief executive) Mark Anderson say and his apology attests, then a suspended fine, given his recent history, simply doesn’t wash. Doesn’t pass the glorious pub test. In fact, it doesn’t pass any test of punishment fitting the crime.”
De Goey’s AFL career again took an ugly twist when videos from a Bali night spot emerged last week of the 26-year-old making crude signals and pulling down a woman’s top.
Collingwood did not ban De Goey, and only dealt him a suspended fine, despite his statement declaring “Collingwood Football Club strongly condemns the disrespect towards women”.
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The legendary Leigh Matthews, who coached Collingwood in 224 games across the 1980s and 1990s, unpacked the club’s manipulation following the De Goey incident.
“One: we’ve got a player who can help us win games of footy on his good day, so we don’t want to destroy that at this point in time,” Matthews said.
“But for our brand protection we’ve got to seem like we’ve jumped on this, and certainly by the words of the statement it’s jumped on.
“Those statements written by a PR person, carefully worded – I suspect Jordan De Goey’s (Instagram post) might have been an individual one.”
In an Instagram statement that differed dramatically from his words in the Collingwood statement, De Goey hammered the media.
“I want to take the opportunity to thank my family, friends and supporters who have checked in or sent messages of support in the past 24 hours,” De Goey wrote.
“I want to openly address the relentless pursuit and persecution of athletes by the media to create an uneducated, bias (sic) and ill-informed narrative that has gone too far.
“I am one of the lucky ones with amazing support, however not all athletes are so lucky.
“This will end in tragedy if no one speaks up.
“It’s time for change.”
De Goey finished his Instagram statement, which still exists, with “#enoughisenough”.
Collingwood will meet GWS at the MCG on Sunday afternoon but whether De Goey lines up remains uncertain.
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