Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

COLLINGWOOD has been fined $50,000, half of which has been suspended, after a game of tennis involving coach Nathan Buckley breached the AFL's Return To Play protocols. 

Buckley and assistant coach Brenton Sanderson played a game of tennis on Friday in Perth with two people from outside of the group of approved club people. 


The pair had been approved to play tennis outside Collingwood's Perth hub on both Wednesday and Friday, but the breach took place on Friday when they played with two people living outside the hub. 

LATEST NEWS All your COVID-19 updates here

Buckley and Sanderson reported the breach to club officials when they realised they may have inadvertently breached the stringent protocols that apply to all AFL people in the League's hubs around the country.

We both accept responsibility for our actions and are accountable for the outcomes of those decisions, good or bad

- Nathan Buckley

Collingwood said in a statement that Buckley and Sanderson had volunteered to personally pay the $25,000 of the fine that had not been suspended. 

THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?

"At the time, we believed we had followed and adhered to the protocols as required but after returning to the hotel and re addressing the circumstances it became crystal clear that we had breached the current AFL protocols," Buckley said in a statement. 

"The competition is asking its constituents to make great sacrifices for the show to go on and we have all accepted these for the long term future of the industry and the privilege of participating within it.

"In regards to the financial sanctions handed down, Brenton and I have committed to meet this. We both accept responsibility for our actions and are accountable for the outcomes of those decisions, good or bad. 

"The members and supporters that underpin the club need to know that their financial and emotional investments directly assist our aspirations on field and will continue to do so."

Nathan Buckley and Brenton Sanderson walk from the field during a game against Port Adelaide in round 21, 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

Collingwood's fine comes after four clubs - Hawthorn, Richmond, Carlton and North Melbourne - were fined on Friday for breaches of the AFL's Return To Play protocols. 

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the breach was another reminder of the importance of following the protocols to keep everyone safe. 

"The AFL appreciates Collingwood advising the AFL of the breach and their cooperation with the investigation. We note that tennis is an approved exercise activity however approved participants are limited to approved club staff, players, household members and immediate family," Dillon said. 

"Notwithstanding the inadvertent nature of this breach, it doesn't excuse the responsibility to abide by the protocols."