CARLTON veteran Dale Thomas has been fined $7500 for his verbal tirade towards boundary umpire Michael Barlow over the weekend.
Thomas threw himself at the mercy of the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night, pleading guilty to the charge and revealing he called Barlow via telephone earlier in the week to "apologise unreservedly" for the incident.
In pleading guilty, Thomas admitted to calling Barlow a "f***ing cheat" after misunderstanding the umpire's instructions to Giants players as the officiator attempted to sort starting positions before a restart of play.
The Giants had seven men in their forward 50 after a goal, before Barlow attempted to assist them in avoiding receiving a warning due to the AFL's newly imposed 6-6-6 rules.
Thomas, who didn't believe umpires were allowed to do this, called to Barlow and repeatedly said: "You can't tell them that d***head … you're a f***ing cheat."
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It has since been confirmed by the AFL that boundary and field umpires have been instructed to assist teams in ensuring they uphold the starting position rules, and that teams were informed of this prior to the commencement of the 2019 season.
A remorseful Thomas said he would not be making an excuse for his comments, agreeing to relieve Barlow of providing evidence for the Tribunal on Tuesday night.
"I'm extremely apologetic for the way in which I acted, the words in which I used and the way I spoke to umpire Barlow," Thomas said afterwards.
"I reached out to him (on Tuesday) to issue that apology. I spoke to him on the phone and he accepted that quite well.
"It was tremendously unfortunate that I put myself in that position, I'm really disappointed in myself for doing that.
"Umpires are an amazing part of our game. Without them, we wouldn't have a game. For me to do that, as an experienced player, it does not set a good example.
"I put my hand up to that, hence the guilty plea, and the sanction has accompanied that. We move on now, I look forward to Sunday's game and there will be no more of this in the future."
The AFL's legal counsel, Jeff Gleeson QC, said there was "no graver insult or action to accuse an umpire of cheating", calling for a base sanction of $7500 for Thomas.
Gleeson labelled the veteran's comments: "Angry, abusive, direct and inappropriate."
However, Thomas' legal representative, Marcus Clarke QC, argued for a reduced sanction of between $4500-5000 due to it being the 31-year-old's first offence of this nature.
However, the Tribunal deliberated for three minutes before handing down a $7500 penalty.
Thomas is just the ninth player to be sanctioned for making abusive comments towards an umpire and the first since Essendon's Mark Jamar was fined $1500 for doing so in 2016.