Brooke Cotchin, the wife of Richmond Tigers captain Trent, has copped a $45,000 fine after being caught breaching the AFL’s strict rules for families in the league’s Queensland hub.
A social media post from a visit to a day spa, contravening the agreement between players, clubs and the Queensland state government, resulted in the AFL dishing out the huge fine to the Tigers.
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In a since-deleted post on social media, Brooke Cotchin wrote of her ‘incredible’ experience at Queensland spa Esteem.
“The most incredible experience today…. My skin was in desperate need of some love,” she wrote.
“I knew I was in the right place as soon as I walked through the doors of Esteem.”
Brooke Cotchin was not the only family member to fall afoul of the strict hub rules, with Hawthorn, North Melbourne and Carlton each fined for other breaches of the rules, totalling a $185,000 boon for the AFL.
Of Richmond’s fine, $25,000 of it is suspended.
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With several incidents of players’ families breaching the strict conditions of the AFL’s Queensland hub resulting in fines payable by the club, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said there had to be more emphasis on personal responsibility.
He said it was unfair to fine clubs for the actions of family members related to players.
“It’s an interesting one. The club’s have got to be involved, but it has to fall on the individual,” McGuire said.
“There’s not much (Richmond chairwoman) Peggy O’Neil in Melbourne can do to stop Trent Cotchin’s wife from going to a day spa.
“The fact that she put it up on Instagram shows she wasn’t trying to hide it.
“It was just a misunderstanding.”
In announcing the fines for four clubs on Friday afternoon, AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon warned of harsh penalties, including being stripped of premiership points, for repeat offenders.
Dillon also said the fine for a second breach could be up to $75,000, plus the suspended $25,000 from the first sanction.
“Our primary focus, like everyone around the country, is to play our role in continuing to keep safe the communities in which we play,” he said.
“We know it is a privilege to be able to continue our competition which provides jobs for thousands of people around the country, and joy to millions of fans.
“The protocols are in place to not only protect players, officials, staff, and now their visiting families, but also the wider community in which we have been given the opportunity to train and play.
“We all have to modify our behaviours in order for the competition to continue in a safe manner.”