AFL investigating anti-tampering rules for 2019

4 September 2018

Written by: Alexandra Brooks

AFL proposes hefty penalties for teams caught meeting with in-contract players

The AFL is considering probing anti-tampering rules to stop in-season meetings between coaches and oppositions players.

AFL officials are considering the crackdown on direct dealings after reports surfaced of Brisbane Lions coach, Chris Fagan, meeting with Dockers midfielder, Lachie Neale, over the weekend.

AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan, confirmed that competition officials are discussing the possibility of stopping the direct negotiations.

“There’s [currently] not an anti-tampering rule. I don’t like the look of [the meetings] , and I don’t think it’s necessary,” he told Fox Footy.

The discussions of the US-style tampering rules come after Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley met with Gold Coast Suns player Tom Lynch, with reports maintaining that the Collingwood, Richmond and Hawthorn are said to still be pursuing the key forward.

McLachlan said he believed clubs should be able to talk and have discussions, but meetings with in-contract players wasn’t something the AFL wanted in the game.

“I believe managers can talk to each other and people can have discussions, but I’m not sure that it’s something that we want in the game.” McLachlan said.

“There are examples of this working in American sport, with anti-tampering rules. Steve Hocking  [Head of football operations] and the guys are having look at that,” he said.

American sports leagues like the NFL and NBA have already introduced anti-tampering rules that penalise teams including; coaches, general managers and front office staff for approaching in contract players and/or their management.

In 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs were stripped of two draft picks and fined $US250,000 for contacting soon-to-be free agent, Jeremy Maclin, whom was still under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

If the AFL were to introduce the same anti-tampering measures, clubs would be made aware of the implications for breaches.

“You’d have to be clear about it (for there to be penalties),” AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said.

Image by Flickerd [CC BY-SA 4.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons