The Brisbane Lions have found themselves in the worst possible catch-22 situation in regards with what to do with wayward forward Brendan Fevola. In a period where the AFL is being seen as an arena for idiots, drunks and photos that really should be kept in a private collection, the Lions are the first team to pull the trigger.
Brendan Fevola has been the first high-profile casualty of the year after the Lions sacked him last night. The Lions released an official statement at 10pm last night and had a press conference to alert the public at 3.45pm this afternoon (AEDST), however the decision was made earlier than last night. The Brisbane Lions had a meeting earlier in the week with the AFL where it is believed that the AFL told the Lions that enough is enough and they strongly ‘suggested’ that the Lions terminate Fevola’s contract.
In the formal statement issued last night the Lions cited “that Brendan had engaged in serious or willful misconduct through persistent breaches of his obligations as a player to the Club.”
That was the same reason as to why he ended up getting traded from Carlton, however Alistair Lynch, Fevola’s manager has come out in defence of his player (as is his job) saying that “He has stayed 51 days in a voluntary rehabilitation clinic and had reached the stage where he felt the next step was to return to football.” It was also noted that Fevola was willing to play the entire season in the Lions reserves team, while still attending rehabilitation before stepping up to play for the seniors.
The catch-22 that the Lions found themselves in was do they;
a) Retain Fevola and benefit the on-field performance of the club, against AFL wishes or,
b) Sack Fevola, please the AFL, improve off-field behaviour of the club but remain fairly weak on-field.
The fact that Fevola was willing to play in the reserves for the season, for me was enough of a reason to keep him on. For two main reasons, firstly, the Lions would have been able to keep an eye on his football performances and secondly, they would have been able to keep an eye on his rehabilitation. Surely, as it was Fevola’s suggestion, they could have drawn up a new contract to coexist with the original for this season, that states that he is to play in the reserves and continue attending rehabilitation for the entirety of this season.
While I’m on the topic of sackings, Ricky Nixon needs to get the flick as well. For those who aren’t up to speed read DJC’s article here – http://bit.ly/iim4EJ.
For a high profile player manager to twice be caught succumbing to the same problem as his players, it isn’t good enough. The AFL Players Association will be meeting on Thursday to determine his future. Nixon thinks he has no case to answer to and is safe with his job, me personally, I think he should be shown the door and his player management license taken off him.