West Coast Eagles analysis, nightclub incident, coach Adam Simpson’s future, rebuild, Matthew Pavlich, reactions, response

Fremantle legend Matthew Pavlich has taken aim at West Coast’s “hypocritical” hierarchy, saying it has hung seven players “out to dry” as the fallout to the club’s horror on and off-field run continues.

West Coast’s harrowing season hit a new low this week after it fined seven players for attending a nightclub in the midst of an early Covid-19 and injury crisis.

The Eagles confirmed on Monday that Jackson Nelson, Josh Rotham, Jake Waterman, Hugh Dixon, Patrick Naish, Campbell Chesser and Rhett Bazzo were hit with $5000 fines – $2500 of which suspended — for going against club orders of high-risk environments like nightclubs on their days off.

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Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett condemned the actions of the seven players, telling SEN it was a “real slap in the face” and that they’re “pretty much ashamed of themselves and embarrassed.”

And several more pundits were left bewildered given West Coast’s bleak circumstances.

Broadcaster Gerard Whateley suggested the Eagles should’ve come down harder on the seven players ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Demons to make a statement.

“It wasn’t thoughtless ignorance, there was an element of wilful disobedience, but I’m not sure that even does it justice. It feels like outright recalcitrance,” he said on Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“It makes me wonder if the players fully buy into the circumstances that have afflicted their club over this period of time.”

“They should just play short suited against Melbourne for the message it sends to their standards and their culture.

“I understand the preservation aspect to it, but I’d cop the 220-point hiding.”

West Coast sits 18th on the ladder (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)Source: FOX SPORTS

It came as the AFLPA opposed West Coast’s handling of the matter, claiming players had already sacrificed so much of their personal lives in recent years throughout the pandemic.

Although Herald Sun reporter Mark Robinson said there needed to be a line drawn in the sand.

“People do stupid things in life, they don’t think about the consequences, that’s happened through the history of the world,” he told AFL 360.

“Players think, ‘we’ll go to a nightclub, we wont get caught, rah rah rah’. Photos and social media got them. From a football perspective, the coach and administration had said to the guys, ‘We are in dire straits here. We ask you to respect each other, respect the protocols’ and they said, ‘nah you’re not really talking to us, we’re going out’.

“The great fight players have always to think that they are not entitled people. Get all your money, you deserve it for what you do… but don’t act entitled and don’t turn around and say ‘you can’t fine us for going to a nightclub’.”

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