Malthouse unwilling to risk AFL fines - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse unwilling to risk AFL fines

By Melissa Woods 17/08/2005 05:59:14 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse was unwilling to risk another hefty fine when questioned about AFL umpiring.

But he was happy enough to continue to criticise the league for its stance on the issue.

Malthouse was recently fined $5,000 by the AFL after he blasted the umpires for their treatment of Magpies full-forward Chris Tarrant in the loss to Fremantle.

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade is facing a similar penalty and his St Kilda counterpart Grant Thomas is likely to be slugged with a bigger fine as the AFL steps up its zero tolerance policy on public criticism of umpires.

"My views haven't changed but the rules are the rules and until some time as that changes...," Malthouse said.

"I spoke the way I felt at the end of that game and I've no doubt Grant Thomas has done the same, as have other coaches and I guess until the rule changes where freedom of speech on all issues is acceptable ... I've got no further comment to make about the umpiring to the media."

Malthouse said Collingwood couldn't "ask any more times" that the AFL change its policy on gagging coaches and believed that the public were the greatest losers in the matter, because they were unable to hear from the experts in the game.

"Given the experience of the coaching fraternity ... they have an opinion about all types of topics, whether they be right or wrong, and what it does, it makes our game more interesting if we're able to comment on all sorts of issues.

"The public don't need to be treated as children, nor the journalists, nor the coaches."

He was backed by Magpies president Eddie McGuire, who said the current situation was embarrassing for coaches.

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