It’s not only the teams in club hubs that are on notice about restrictions. Four hundred people including AFL top brass, club executives, partners and children of players, and media representatives in the league’s quarantine hub on the Gold Coast are subject to strict rules.
They have to wear masks in communal dining spaces and bars unless they are eating or drinking, and adhere to social distancing rules.
McLachlan reminded clubs in no uncertain terms of the obligations of both staff and players for the remainder of the season and stressed the game could not afford another off-field issue.
Essendon boss Xavier Campbell said McLachlan’s messaging was consistent with the AFL’s strong stance throughout the year.
“It wasn’t any different to the focus that Gillon and the AFL have had over the past 8 eight weeks around our licence to play and continue our season. We discussed the fact that we all need to buy into it,” Campbell said on 3AW.
“We’re fortunate to be able to do what we’re doing up here, there’s no doubt about that and we want to respect the game and that we make each other proud in the way that we act.”
Richmond initially said that both Stack and Coleman Jones would be expected to pay a significant portion of the $100 thousand fine handed to the club but that has since been refuted by the players’ management and by the AFL Players Association.
Campbell said he had conversations early in the year with his players and the Essendon leadership group agreed to be financially accountable for mistakes they make.
“What we did say is we all ave to be accountable to this,” Campbell said.
“My points is clear; why should the club, if a player or staff member makes a concerted decision, why should we be punished down the track?
“Now, it’s clear what the rules are, we all get that. But this was at a point when it was very early on and discussing it as a club and building our broader accountability for it.
“I’ll just leave it at that, I think.”
Sam McClure is a sport reporter for The Age and winner of ‘best news reporter’ at the AFL Media Association awards.