GREATER Western Sydney chief executive Dave Matthews has launched a scathing attack on the one-week suspension handed to Essendon's Adam Cooney for his bump on Giant Stephen Coniglio.

With less than five minutes to play in last week's match at Spotless Stadium, and with GWS leading by 33 points, the Bomber charged off the centre square and clashed with Coniglio, who was left dazed for several minutes.

The young Giant was helped from the field by medical staff and will miss this week's crucial clash against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

The Match Review Panel deemed the hit serious enough to send Cooney's case directly to the Tribunal to face a rough conduct charge.

Cooney's bump was ruled as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact, which would normally carry a base penalty of two matches.

But after a glowing character reference from former coach Rodney Eade, the 2008 Brownlow medallist escaped with a one-match ban.

The length of the suspension surprised most of the footy world, and left GWS fuming.

"Quite simply, what (Adam) Cooney did to (Stephen) Coniglio is unacceptable, and if you want to send that message then it's got to be more than one week," Matthews told

"I didn't like it, the game is tougher than it's ever been, but there's no room for that.

"Stephen Coniglio (is) a real ball player and it was even more necessary given the state of the game.

"When I was told that it was a one-week penalty I thought it was a joke, I thought someone was having a lend of me.

"That is significant unders."

Some media commentators and the Giants urged AFL general manager of football operations Mark Evans to appeal the Tribunal's decision.

But Evans released a statement on Wednesday saying that even though the AFL believed that Cooney's ban should have been more severe, he'd received legal advice that an appeal was not warranted.

While disappointed, Matthews knows that the AFL's hands were tied under the current tribunal guidelines.

"It was really pleasing talking to Mark Evans, he recognised the weakness in the rules in terms of being able to appeal it, because we encouraged the AFL to appeal it if they could," Matthews said.

"In the end I understand the limitations they've got in their rules, but there's absolutely no doubt that in the court of public opinion, that's just a mistake.

"One week is just insufficient.

"I wouldn't be surprised if this circumstance leads to a rule change or a set of changes, that enables Mark Evans and his team to rectify decisions like that.

"That's a bad decision."

Matthews said his powerful views on the case were nothing personal against Cooney or the Essendon Football Club, but all about wanting protection for his own players. 

"Adam Cooney's record speaks for itself that's fine, but you still can't do that," Matthews said.