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Demons face $500k tanking fine: reports

Peter Ryan  February 15, 2013 7:54 PM

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Chris Connolly will be the only current Melbourne official suspended as a result of the tanking investigation, according to reports

MELBOURNE will not be stripped of draft picks but will be hit with a $500,000 fine when recommendations from the AFL's seven-month tanking investigation are handed down, reports say.

Club development manager Chris Connolly will be the only active Demons official suspended as a result of the investigation, according to a report in The Age.

Current CEO Cameron Schwab will escape penalty while former coach Dean Bailey – who is now with Adelaide – will receive a three-month suspension, the report claims.

Acting AFL Football Operations Manager and deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan took on the responsibility for handing down the recommendations after the AFL conducted an extensive investigation.

McLachlan was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

A club spokesperson told AFL.com.au the Melbourne board had not been informed of an outcome in relation to the tanking investigation. 
The AFL Commission is set to meet on Monday.

All parties would like the issue resolved before the 2013 season begins, although Melbourne has indicated it will fight to protect its integrity if necessary.

The Demons revealed at last week's AGM that it had set up a sub-committee to deal with the day-to-day demands of the issue and to ensure the football side of the organisation was not distracted.

Club president Don McLardy also revealed that the process had taken a toll that was hard to measure on the club.

The ongoing investigation is understood to have had an impact on the commercial side of the club, although the impact on the current football department has been minimised.

The investigation into Melbourne was sparked when former Demon Brock McLean made comments on Fox Footy's On the Couch inferring Melbourne was happy to lose games in 2009 to secure a priority pick in that season's draft.

Both current and former club officials have been interviewed. The AFL presented lawyers representing all parties with a document for them to respond to by the end of January.

The club won just four games in 2009 to qualify for a priority draft pick. It selected Tom Scully and Jack Trengove with picks No.1 and No.2. Scully has since joined GWS while Trengove is now the club co-captain.

The priority pick rule has since been changed to avoid perception surrounding the possibility of clubs tanking.

The formula for clubs to qualify for the priority pick is now secret and the acceptance of a recommendation for a priority pick to be awarded remains at the discretion of the AFL Commission.