McLachlan unsure how MRO process became public in forecasting rule change

Gillon McLachlan says the AFL will investigate the possibility of modifying the league’s rules in response to the Tribunal hysteria surrounding Brayden Maynard.

Maynard was ultimately found to have no case to answer for a collision with Angus Brayshaw that knocked out the Melbourne defender for up to two minutes.

Despite being referred to the Tribunal for the incident, a marathon four-hour hearing eventually concluded Maynard had insufficient time to make a decision that would have led to a different outcome.

Almost 48 hours after the result was handed down, the outgoing AFL CEO forecasted a change in the league’s rules.

“The AFL believed there was a case to answer and made a decision… then the Tribunal had a different view and they were quite definitive in their judgement and really left no avenue or opportunity for the AFL to appeal,” McLachlan told media on Thursday.

“We accept that because that’s what this is, a system playing out. Our response is to say, ‘alright, if there are no avenues to appeal, let’s actually look at the incident to see if there are tweaks or modifications or opportunities to change the rules or modify them so we can do our very best to protect the health and wellbeing of our players on the field’.”

But McLachlan indicated he’s comfortable with how the process played out from Thursday night until Tuesday’s hearing.

After the collision in Thursday night’s Qualifying Final, a statement from AFL House landed almost 24 hours later stating: “The Executive General Manager of Football and the Match Review Officer have also laid the following charge” in relation to Maynard.

It’s been widely reported that new executive GM of football Laura Kane overruled MRO Michael Christian in sending Maynard to the Tribunal.

McLachlan suggested he doesn’t see that as an issue.

“We are unapologetic, I am unapologetic. There is an MRO and there are people working for the MRO… and the MRO is ultimately accountable to the head of football,” he added.

“So the difference of views – on this incident – played out, I don’t know how and why it played out so publicly, they’re questions for a later date, but that is the system.

“It’s part of the system… I think it’s actually exactly how it should have played out.”

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