HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson is set to be issued with a 'please explain' notice from the AFL, having described the umpiring during Saturday's loss to Sydney as "an extra player on the ground".
The Hawks were on the wrong end of a 22-13 free kick count during their narrow seven-point defeat to the Swans, with Clarkson taking umbrage at the discrepancy when speaking to reporters after the game.
"A low-scoring game and the free kicks are 22-13 against … it's like we're giving them an extra player on the ground," Clarkson said.
"That's the way it goes. There will be games where we're ahead in the free kick count. It didn't work out for us this game."
The AFL will complete its review into round eight's games after Monday night's clash between Fremantle and Geelong at Optus Stadium, but appears set to ask Clarkson to elaborate on his comments.
Clarkson told Fox Footy on Monday night he didn't intend to be disrespectful with his post-match comments.
"If you listen to my whole press conference, it was pretty measured and composed," Clarkson said.
"I spoke about swings and roundabouts in terms of free kicks that come and go your way or otherwise. That's the game.
"I didn't think I was any way in being disrespectful to the umpires or Tom Papley. In that respect, if anything I'd choose my words differently more than anything."
Clarkson has a long history of umpire-related incidents, having been slapped with a $20,000 fine (with $15,000 suspended) for labelling the umpiring as "disgraceful" after his side's loss to Gold Coast in 2017. He also publicly apologised for that particular outburst.
The four-time premiership coach has already made headlines for his criticisms of umpiring this season, having labelled the state of the game as "dreadful" due to the interpretations of the holding the ball rule last month.
It came after Hawthorn was not paid a single tackle-related free kick in a victory over North Melbourne, despite registering 69 tackles for the match.
"What's happened to our game? You can't have that many tackles and not one of them be incorrect disposal," Clarkson had said.
"You wonder why the game is an arm-wrestle and that you can't get any open footy … if that's the spectacle that we're trying to search for in our game, then our game's in a dreadful space."
The comments led to a change in the interpretation of the rule, with the AFL's CEO Gillon McLachlan agreeing that there needed to be tougher interpretations and umpires subsequently paying more holding the ball free kicks in the following weeks.
Clarkson also drew the ire of Sydney counterpart John Longmire after Saturday's clash, having claimed that star Swans forward Tom Papley "milks free kicks as good as anyone in the competition".