Lions seething over Akermanis tirade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions seething over Akermanis tirade

By Laine Clark 20/05/2009 07:42:04 PM Comments (0)

Sick of Jason Akermanis' sniping, the Brisbane Lions have issued a "please explain" to AFL rivals the Western Bulldogs over the Brownlow medallist's latest outburst - and have not ruled out legal action.

Lions coach Michael Voss said the controversial onballer had broken an "unwritten code" by having a shot at his former club - most notably ex-teammate Justin Leppitsch - in a newspaper article on Wednesday.

After reading what they deemed were Akermanis' "inaccurate comments", Voss called a last-minute press conference on Wednesday night to sit side by side with Lions CEO Michael Bowers and deliver a clear message.

"Our fundamental philosophy is that our club is our people - eventually you have to sit there and say `you can't possibly take that'," Voss said.

Bowers added: "We are owed some action (from the Bulldogs)."

Neither addressed Akermanis by name, opting instead referring to him as "a Western Bulldogs" player.

But it was clear who they were talking about - especially after Akermanis' splash in News Ltd newspapers.

In a wide ranging interview that was supposed to throw towards his looming 300th AFL game, Akermanis took aim at his former club as only he could.

In Akermanis' view, Voss "didn't deserve" to be coaching and in a cheeky aside claimed Lions chairman Tony Kelly had a "man crush on Vossy".

Former teammate Chris Scott didn't get a big rap either.

But the biggest perceived swipe was taken at Leppitsch, a former champion Lions player and Voss' current assistant coach.

Akermanis painted Leppitsch as petty, saying the former key defender told him he did not attend the onballer's 2001 wedding because "he didn't agree with my (Akermanis') success at the end of that season".

Bowers said the club was not considering legal action against Akermanis - but Leppitsch could.

"There is another forum, the legal system, where that can be sorted out - that's for people to make their own decisions," he said.

"(But) what the Lions say to every club and player is if you are going to talk about a Lions person be very careful what you say - exercise extreme care and caution.

"People's reputations are at stake.

"Inaccurate comments made by any player in the AFL competition is just totally inappropriate.

"So on behalf of the club we say we won't tolerate those pot shots made at the club and at our key people."

Akermanis had never been short of a word but Bowers said the club could not simply dismiss his latest comments.

"It is much more than that. It goes to the core of who we are, it goes to the reputation, our key people at this club and associated with the club for many years," he said.

Voss added: "We just think there is an unwritten code that should exist amongst clubs and players.

"It (newspaper article) raises issues about people at our club and also an assistant coach who has been honest, loyal, respectful, given great service, shown fantastic leadership across 17 years as a member of our football club."

Bowers now considered Akermanis as the Bulldogs' "problem".

"This is something the Western Bulldogs have to address," he said.

"We are owed some action, some consideration from the Western Bulldogs.

"I am not going to pre-empt what they are going to do because it is their issue."

A Bulldogs spokesman said the club had no comment on the reaction from the Lions as they were focusing on Friday night's clash with Geelong.

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