Sleazy AFL list ranked women by looks

Sunday Herald Sun - - Front Page - STEPHEN DRILL

THE AFL af­fairs scan­dal has deep­ened amid rev­e­la­tions some men at the league’s head­quar­ters cre­ated a “Top 10” list of fe­male staff they wanted to have sex with.

Whistle­blow­ers still an­gry at the treat­ment of women have fur­ther ex­posed the cul­ture of sleaze.

One woman was told: “You’re num­ber five on the list.” They also re­vealed that a cur­rent male em­ployee had been dubbed the “King of Tin­der” by fe­male staff. The AFL did not com­ment last night. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Gil­lon McLachlan said yes­ter­day two league ex­ec­u­tives, Si­mon Leth­lean and Richard Simkiss, had made mis­takes and put their “hands up”.

“I don’t look at them in any dif­fer­ent way. They are friends of mine who’ve been out­stand­ing ex­ec­u­tives who made a mis­take, and they are work­ing on their mar­riages,” McLachlan said.

A TOXIC AFL cul­ture has been ex­posed, with rev­e­la­tions some men in the of­fice cre­ated a “Top 10” list of fe­male em­ploy­ees they wanted to sleep with.

The Sun­day Her­ald Sun has con­firmed a woman was told of her rank­ing on the wish list of males at AFL House.

She was told: “You’re num­ber five on the list.”

AFL chief ex­ec­u­tive Gil­lon McLachlan yes­ter­day said he was con­fi­dent the two ex­ec­u­tives who quit over af­fairs would find jobs in foot­ball.

“I know the in­dus­try is for- giv­ing. They are high-qual­ity peo­ple and un­be­liev­able ex­ec­u­tives,” he said on SEN.

“I feel con­fi­dent they’ll get an­other chance.”

Later he told 3AW: “They’re both high-per­form­ing ex­ec­u­tives who have worked through the ranks be­cause they have de­liv­ered.”

Foot­ball op­er­a­tions man­ager Si­mon Leth­lean quit fol­low­ing an af­fair with young Aus­kick staffer Maddi Blomberg, girl­friend of rugby union star Kurt­ley Beale.

Com­mer­cial man­ager Richard Simkiss re­signed over his re­la­tion­ship with young AFL le­gal coun­sel Ali Gronow.

The mar­ried men both apol­o­gised for their ac­tions and have been fo­cus­ing on their fam­i­lies.

The Sun­day Her­ald Sun un­der­stands Leth­lean, who was re­port­edly paid $900,000 a year, is likely to find a job at an AFL club.

Simkiss has a wide busi­ness net­work through his role at the AFL for more than a decade.

The res­ig­na­tions this week came af­ter the Her­ald Sun re­ported de­tails of an af­fair on Mon­day.

But con­cerns re­main about the cul­ture within the AFL, de­spite the strong stance taken on Leth­lean and Simkiss.

As well as the “Top 10” list, a cur­rent male em­ployee at the league’s Dock­lands head­quar­ters has been dubbed the “King of Tin­der” by fe­male em­ploy­ees.

The “Top 10” list was cir­cu­lat­ing sev­eral years ago, but sources within the AFL said they were wor­ried the cul­ture had not changed enough.

How­ever, other fe­male AFL em­ploy­ees told the Sun­day Her­ald Sun they had no is­sues work­ing at the league.

The AFL did not re­spond yes­ter­day to ques­tions about the “Top 10” list or the “King of Tin­der”.

McLachlan did the rounds of the ra­dio sta­tions yes­ter­day, spend­ing about an hour on air can­didly an­swer­ing ques­tion af­ter ques­tion about the af­fairs. It is be­lieved he has been left per­son­ally shat­tered by the scan­dal, which cost the ca­reers of two friends. He ad- dressed claims that a third AFL ex­ec­u­tive may have had an in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­la­tion­ship.

“There’s a lot of dif­fer­ent things swirling, there’s noth­ing that I know that wor­ries me,” he said.

McLachlan said yes­ter­day he first be­came aware of claims of one af­fair af­ter the Her­ald Sun put ques­tions in writ­ing in June.

The mat­ter was sent to hu­man re­sources, but the time­line of when that hap­pened was un­clear.

It was only this week af­ter the Her­ald Sun re­ported de-

tails of the af­fairs that he be­came fully aware of the facts.

McLachlan said he would look at whether a new code of con­duct for treat­ment of women should be con­sid­ered as a re­sult of the in­ci­dents.

But he stood by his de­ci­sion to ac­cept his friends’ res­ig­na­tions, which was done af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with AFL Com­mis­sion chair­man Richard Goy­der and the AFL board.

“You can’t walk around it when there’s stuff that is ac­tu­ally a clear breach,” McLachlan said. “Two men have made mis­takes and when you look at all of the cir­cum­stances and facts, they’ve said ‘I can’t con­tinue to work for this or­gan­i­sa­tion and I put my hand up’.

“I don’t look at them in any dif­fer­ent way.

“They are friends of mine who’ve been out­stand­ing ex­ec­u­tives who made a mis­take and they are work­ing on their mar­riages. If they ac­count for this in the right way, their his­to­ries and their be­hav­iours go­ing for­ward will re­pair ev­ery­thing.”




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