EMBARRASSED Richmond pair Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones have apologised for their late-night escapade that cost the Tigers $100,000.
Stack and Coleman-Jones touched down in Adelaide on Saturday, suspended for the next 10 matches after they were caught breaking AFL COVID-19 rules at 3.30am on Friday morning.
While the Tigers and AFLPA work through whether the duo will be paying their part of the fine ($75,000), the players took to social media on Saturday afternoon to issue messages.
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"I just wanted to take the opportunity to apologise for the mistake I made," Stack said via Instagram.
"I'm very sorry, understand the seriousness of it and can do nothing now but own the consequences. I've let down the AFL, the club I love, my team mates (sic), coaches and staff, it's members and the tiger army.
"I also have let down my family, my friends and all of those who have helped me along the way."
Coleman-Jones was equally regretful, and like Stack, vowed to win back the trust of all concerned.
"I take full responsibility for what I have done and am extremely remorseful," he said.
"I've let a lot of people down including; the football club, the AFL, the Queensland Government, my friends and family, all the supports/Tiger Army, and the wider community.
"I realise what I did was selfish and had the potential to jeopardise the continuation of the competition being played in Queensland."
Their actions came with a $75,000 price tag and also triggered a $25,000 suspended sanction from a club breach in July.
The total of $100,000 will be assigned to next year's soft cap for football department spending which has already been slashed by more than $3m to a tick over $6m.
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Any further Richmond breach of the AFL COVID-19 protocols this year – which would become the club's third of the season – could incur a loss of premiership points or draft picks.
Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said on Friday night that Stack and Coleman-Jones would split the $75,000 and pay it back.
However, the AFL Players' Association said the club can't penalise the duo beyond the League's 10-game ban, under the terms agreed between the AFL and the players' union.
AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh told 3AW radio on Saturday that the club's request for the players to pay $75,000 of the fine was not possible, adding that he did not condone Stack and Coleman's behaviour.
He said the financial impact of potentially lost match payments needed to be factored into the 10-game bans handed to the pair.
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The AFL's general manager of football operations, Steve Hocking said suggestions that the fine be included in the players' salary cap rather than the football department soft cap were off the mark.
"It's intended to be a club fine ... everybody's got ownership of this," Hocking told AFL Nation radio on Saturday.
"It's a club-wide leadership piece and we've all got responsibility and that's been included within my role. I'm expected to live to a standard and everybody right across the whole competition understands that and has signed up to it."