AFL 'celebrating' the shock demise of premiers

1 month ago 17
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Veteran reporter Caroline Wilson claims Richmond's first year of no finals footy since 2016 is being celebrated by no one more so than the AFL.

Richmond's hopes of achieving four premierships in five years officially ended last week, with the club now out of finals contention with one round remaining in the season.

But according to Wilson, the club's demise this season has no greater fan than the AFL itself.

The veteran reporter believes a number of incidents in recent times, such as the club's controversy during the hubs last year which included breaches and bizarre requests, along with some of coach Damien Hardwick's comments made in the media, has "riled the AFL" in recent time.

"There have been so many incidents over the past two years, it pains me to say this because Richmond has been so wonderful and given Richmond supporters so much joy over the last four years," Wilson told Nine's Footy Classified.

Tigers head coach Damien Hardwick speaks to his players (Getty)

"But there has been some lack of discipline. No one is celebrating this missing of the finals more than the AFL.

"They (AFL) loathe Richmond's behaviour last year.

"So many things they felt they didn't do right up in the hub, and there have been so many comments this year by Damien Hardwick that has riled the AFL.

"Things like the free kicks given away earlier in the game last weekend, Dylan Grimes never used to give away the sort of free kicks he's giving away at the moment.

"I love what Damien Hardwick has done too, but unfortunately he has I think created some problems for the club internally."

It's not the first time this season Wilson has been highly critical of the Tigers coach.

Caro on Tigers' potential unrest

Wilson at the start of this year wrote in The Age that Hardwick's off-field issues, namely his new relationship with a Tigers staffer that followed his highly-publicised marriage break-up, tarnished his leadership at the club in the eyes of many personnel at Tigerland.

"I wrote in January that he had tarnished his leadership at Richmond because of issues that had happened off the field and I know Damien and many at Richmond didn't like this article, but I stand by it," Wilson told Nine's Footy Classified last month.

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