Cometti: AFL must rethink tank
Cometti: AFL must rethink tank

The AFL's determination to pursue Melbourne over 'tanking' allegations continues like a misguided missile.

Right now the strategy seems to be that in the absence of a Plan B it's best simply to try harder on Plan A.

It's a plan unlikely to work unless, like the AFL, you happen to be a judicial one-man band!

In recent days Melbourne chief executive Cameron Schwab, football manager Chris Connolly and former coach Dean Bailey were all given until the end of the month to give reason to the AFL why they should not be charged.

Yet no mention in this murky business of Jim Stynes!

HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW.

Is it seriously being suggested the legendary Stynes was not a 'hands on' president?

I find the inference he was not a party to 'tanking' and that somehow he was duped by his own staff equally insulting to his memory.

Regardless, even the concept of 'tanking' is shadowy, and raises questions as to AFL oversight of coaching at all 18 clubs.

Often there's a thin line between genius and ridicule (consider something like Shane Ellen's role in the 1997 grand final).

The league should take a deep breath before getting involved in a round of finger-pointing that, who knows, could lead all the way to having a black box in the coaches box.

But as I've said before the real flaw in all of this can be found in western Sydney.

Expansion team GWS 'earned' top pick in last year's national draft.

It did so by giving everybody on its list 'a go', by making umpteen changes every week and by selecting far from their most competitive side on a regular basis.

You might remember they even came to Perth last season having 'rested' all their experienced players.

We watched, and, dare I say, accepted that learning on the job and finding out who can play and who can't has its place in an elite sports competition. But If it does, then surely you can't have one rule for the old (Melbourne) and one rule for the new (GWS).

And unfortunately for the AFL it has its fingerprints all over GWS. It is virtually the league's baby!

I think the doubts surrounding Melbourne should be used for good. Accept that 'the glass is half dirty', forgive and forget and legislate our way out of this.

We need to dismantle a draft system that incentivises losers and guarantees outcomes for consistent losing.

At the risk of repeating myself, the AFL need look no further than the National Basketball Association in the United States.

COMMENTS

The West Australian

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