Alastair Clarkson during the AAMI Community Series match between St Kilda and North Melbourne at RSEA Park on March 3, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson has been fined $20,000 for his "inappropriate" outburst towards St Kilda players Jimmy Webster and Dougal Howard.

He has also been hit with a two-game ban, suspended until the end of the 2025 season, that will be immediately activated if he is again found guilty of conduct unbecoming in that time. 

Clarkson must also attend Pride in Sport training as approved by the AFL. His fine will not be included in North Melbourne's football department soft cap. 


Clarkson made a public apology on Monday for the exchange, which came when the Roos coach approached Webster after the Saints defender's bump on Jy Simpkin during Sunday's AAMI Community Series match at RSEA Park.

Webster was on Tuesday handed a seven-match ban for the bump, which has forced Simpkin out of round one of the season, while Clarkson was issued with a 'please explain' by the AFL.

Clarkson apologised again on Friday afternoon via a statement released following the AFL handing down its penalty. 

"I am disappointed that I allowed the emotion of the moment to envelope me and I should not have engaged with the St Kilda players. 

"I have since apologised to St Kilda coach Ross Lyon, Jimmy Webster and Dougal Howard for the manner in which I reacted. 

"This has been a significant reflective moment for me. My language was not used with any intent to vilify or marginalise, however through this incident I have begun to understand the impact of the use of casual language. I am fully committed to educating myself in this regard.

"In terms of my reaction to the incident involving Jy (Simpkin), I have been doing some work to understand why I respond in the manner I do, but also to develop strategies I can implement in these moments."

North Melbourne CEO Jennifer Watt said the club had acknowledged Clarkson's remorse and would support him to improve his ability to respond appropriately in heated situations. 

Alastair Clarkson and Luke McDonald after North Melbourne's loss to Melbourne in R7, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

It's not the first time Clarkson has found himself in hot water for a verbal outburst.

In 2009, he had to be physically restrained after Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd broke Brad Sewell's cheekbone with a bump.

In 2012, Clarkson infamously punched a hole in the MCG coaching box wall before, the following day, he swore at a junior club official during an under-age football match.

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The following year, he lashed out at a reporter during a press conference at Melbourne airport and apologised to two Port Melbourne players he verbally abused at quarter-time of a VFL match.

In 2017, he was fined $20,000 by the AFL (with $15,000 suspended) after he said he could not comment on "disgraceful umpiring" in Hawthorn's loss to Gold Coast.

In February last year, he apologised for making a threatening comment to a television reporter during an altercation.

In a statement on Monday, Clarkson said he was "deeply disturbed" by the Webster bump on Simpkin, who has a recent concussion history.

"At the quarter-time break I voiced my displeasure to St Kilda players Jimmy Webster and Dougal Howard as they made their way to the quarter-time huddle," Clarkson said.

"This was an exchange that was emotional in defence of our captain, but unnecessary, and the language I used was inappropriate.

"I have reached out to (Saints coach) Ross Lyon and both the St Kilda players to apologise."

AFL CEO Andrew Dillon said earlier this week he didn't want senior coaches or officials approaching players at breaks in play.

"When you overlay what's been reported, it's language that Alastair has already come out and said is inappropriate, it's something I don't like, and we don't need it in our game," he said.