Amid growing concern about how AFL fans are being treated at games, extraordinary footage has emerged of a security guard nearly going onto the field.
The security guard started running onto the field during Sunday's GWS win over North Melbourne in Hobart, to break up a scuffle between two players.
It is more embarrassment for the league and its venues over security at games, with AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan publicly apologising for growing unrest among fans.
‘TRAIN WRECK’: McLachlan slammed over ‘embarrassing’ response
Giants defender Heath Shaw and North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell were wrestling on the wing, with an umpire nearby.
The security guard starts jogging towards the two players and takes a step over the boundary line before the umpire shoos him away.
"No it's alright, you can't come on here (the ground)," the umpire tells the guard, who immediately backs away.
The footage was aired during Fox Footy's On The Couch show, with panel members amazed by the incident.
"If you put your faith in people that have got no training or little training, this is the sort of disaster that may well have happened 24 hours ago," said Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy.
"You had a bloody security guard about to come on the ground to separate two players."
Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown added: “It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it before. That is absolutely ridiculous.”
Melbourne great Garry Lyon said it was “beyond the pale”.
“They (security guards) are supposed behavioural experts, they’re not football experts,” Lyon said.
“That fella has just made the worst decision ... That’s so laughable that you can’t defend it, but they are supposed to be trained.”
McLachlan publicly apologised on Monday night in the wake of mounting angst, telling News Ltd it hurt him that fans were feeling intimidated at AFL matches.
"I'm sorry they are feeling intimidated. If people are feeling threatened we obviously will listen ... I'm appalled," McLachlan said
"It hurts me to hear our administration is not looking after the fans.”
Earlier on Monday, McLachlan had met with Marvel Stadium chief executive Michael Green.
There were several incidents in the crowd on Friday and Saturday nights at the two Marvel Stadium games.
Also on Monday, Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett said a crackdown on crowd behaviour by the AFL is unacceptable, despite McLachlan previously stating that there was no change to how the league manages crowds.
Stadium management have conceded they went too far with a heightened level of security which left some fans uneasy, but ground management maintained that the AFL wasn't behind the move - which Kennett doesn't believe.
Kennett also came in for criticism after he questioned whether security staff were "new arrivals" to Australia with sufficient knowledge of the game to police crowd behaviour.
"I'm not being racist when I say this, but when I saw some of the footage, the people who are making judgements while they wear these authoritative coats are not people who appear to have a great knowledge of our game," he said.
"And yet they make judgements about what's correct and what's not correct."