Akermanis hits back at Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Akermanis hits back at Bulldogs

By Sam Lienert 22/07/2010 05:41:17 PM Comments (0)

Jason Akermanis has called on the Western Bulldogs to show proof he leaked information to justify their decision to sack him from the AFL club.

Akermanis said he cried for 10 minutes on Wednesday after being told of his axing, but did not take too long before he hit back on Thursday morning by denying any wrongdoing.

"If they're saying that I'm leaking stuff, I'm happy for you to say that but tell me where the proof is," Akermanis said in his spot on MTR radio.

The Bulldogs believe Akermanis' value as a player and marketing tool had been outweighed by repeated breaches of trust over the past 18 months.

The relationship hit the skids in June after Akermanis wrote a newspaper column saying gay footballers should not come out. He further angered the Bulldogs by claiming his column had been changed.

The club was also upset details of a private meeting found their way on to the Nine Network's The Footy Show, through panellist Sam Newman, a colleague of Akermanis at MTR.

But the Brownlow medallist, who joined the Bulldogs for the 2007 season after a messy split with the Brisbane Lions, said he'd been given no evidence of wrongdoing when he met on Wednesday with Bulldogs president David Smorgon, coach Rodney Eade, football manager James Fantasia and football director Simon Garlick.

Akermanis said the group asked him to retire, but he refused.

He claimed he had eaten "more humble pie than anyone in the history of the game" by playing in the VFL as penance after the column saga, and did not deserve the sack.

Another reported source of complaint the Bulldogs had with Akermanis is the book he is writing, but the 33-year-old denied he had criticised ex-teammates and said he was being punished for something that had not eventuated.

He claimed Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson had used the forthcoming book to convince the playing group they did not need him.

"He wanted to be honest and open, yet Brad Johnson in a meeting said to the group `If you are going to play with a player and this player was going to write stuff about you, would you want to play with him?'," Akermanis said.

"Now that's the most loaded question I've seen and of course 100 per cent said `I wouldn't play with him.'"

Some Bulldogs fans were disappointed by the Bulldogs' sacking of the big-game specialist so close to the finals.

But former Bulldogs captain Luke Darcy said the club had done the right thing and that its decision showed enough was enough.

"The great thing from the Bulldogs' point of view is that it sends a really strong message that they aren't going to tolerate anyone - regardless of what they can bring from a skills point of view - who isn't on the path to the premiership," Darcy wrote on the AFL website.

"It says they are serious and they aren't going to tolerate being just a good side."

The Bulldogs play for fourth spot when they host Fremantle at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott, a teammate of Akermanis' at the Lions, said the Bulldogs would not have made the decision to sack their outspoken star lightly.

"The decision at Brisbane - not that it was my decision - to let him go when he was at the peak of his powers was an incredibly difficult one," Scott said.

"I'm certainly not privy to what happens at the Bulldogs but no doubt the decision they had to make was an incredibly difficult one as well."

"It's disappointing for him but it's important we reflect on what a good player he's been."

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