This week, we held the fourth event in our "Business of Football" lunch series, with guest speakers Gabrielle Trainor - AFL Commissioner, Chip Le Grand - Journalist (The Australian) & Author of 'The Straight Dope', and Steve Wyatt - Integrity Services Manager, Richmond Football Club.
Hosted by our lawyers, Peggy O'Neal, President of Richmond Football Club, and Derek Humphery-Smith, former AFL field umpire, our panel spoke about the many and varied challenges to integrity in the AFL.
Speaking about the event, Humphery-Smith said, "These lunches allow our clients to hear from the inside about the business of AFL football from leading AFL personalities, and they continue to be an important platform for our leading Australian sports law practice.
"There are a range of key issues, such as illicit drugs, gambling, mental health, the private time of AFL players and who associates with the players, and match day pressures, which all put difficult stressors on the integrity of the AFL.
"Integrity in AFL football has an incredibly wide scope and this creates challenges for all stakeholders. Our panel did an outstanding job in exploring these challenges from the perspectives of the AFL Commission, the media and the AFL clubs."
Head of Lander & Rogers' Sports Business Group, Amelia Lynch, added that, "The importance of creating and maintaining an environment and culture where integrity is valued and prioritised is a challenge with which all sporting leagues, clubs, peak bodies and event organisers are currently grappling.
"In our experience, many of the issues discussed by our panel affect the way in which sporting organisations and their athletes approach integrity. It was particularly interesting to hear the panel's views on how the importance placed on a winning culture is balanced with the need to value respect, ethics and integrity throughout the playing group and administration of a football club."