NORTH Melbourne has been slapped with a massive $50,000 fine and coach Brad Scott fined a further $30,000 for his post-match comments about the umpires.
The AFL also considered suspending Scott but was swayed not to, given North made an unreserved apology little more than 12 hours after the Roos coach falsely claimed the umpires refused to pay Lindsay Thomas free kicks during the Kangaroos' nine-point loss to Hawthorn on Friday night.
AFL football operations manager Mark Evans told reporters on Tuesday afternoon Scott's comments had impugned the integrity of umpires and the League, warranting the hefty penalties for both club and coach.
"We don't have great precedents in these areas so it was really (a matter of) considering the comments and the impact that they had and we came to that (outcome) today," Evans said.
"We felt that Brad's comments had gone past more than just criticism of umpires and we felt that they actually went to the integrity of our umpiring staff, our umpires and the AFL itself.
"So we felt that there were actions there, not just the comments but actions, that maybe the club could have averted this."
NMFC has been fined $50k and Brad Scott $30k by the AFL. The club accepts the sanctions and will make no further comment on the matter.— North Melbourne (@NMFCOfficial) June 21, 2016
Evans and AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon met with Scott and North football director Geoff Walsh on Tuesday morning before recommending a penalty to AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.
Evans said suspending Scott had been canvassed, but the strength and speed of the apologies from North and the coach had averted this.
"It was discussed, but I think since Saturday morning when I spoke to Geoff Walsh at North Melbourne they quickly retracted the comments and offered an unreserved apology and that's been well accepted by our umpires and umpiring staff and that was taken into account.
"North Melbourne was very strong in their apology today to reaffirm that they had made the wrong call and they were very sorry for that.
"The powers of the AFL are quite broad but on his occasion I thought that the apology was very, very strong and came very, very swiftly and I thought that they presented that very well today."
North issued a statement on Tuesday saying the club and Scott had accepted their sanctions.
Scott expressed his remorse at a press conference on Monday.
"I'm here to issue a public apology and whatever the AFL feel is an appropriate sanction, then I'll accept," Scott said.
Scott conceded it was a mistake airing his grievance publicly, instead of speaking to the AFL privately after only hearing of the alleged umpires' comments "from a trusted source" just minutes before walking into his press conference.
"I made a really terrible mistake by not fact-checking," Scott said.