The recent meetings between Lachie Neale and Chris Fagan, and previously Tom Lynch and Nathan Buckley, have now sparked calls to end all possibility of players and clubs talking directly to one another outside of free agency and legal ‘tampering’ periods.
Appearing on the Fox Footy show On the Couch, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan criticised the meetings.
“I don’t like the look of it, and I don’t think it’s necessary,” McLachlan said.
When pushed on the subject of implementing a form of anti-tampering rules into the league, McLachlan stated that options to avoid these meetings were being reviewed.
“There are examples of this working in American sport, anti-tampering rules. I know Steve Hocking and the guys are having look at that.”
Examples of these rules include the US sports, such as the NBA, where the Los Angeles Lakers were fined $500,000 for making contact with a contracted Paul George outside of the legal windows in 2017.
On SEN, Tim Watson stated that Brisbane should receive a $100,000 fine for contacting and attempting to lure Neale away from Fremantle, when he is contracted until the end of 2019.
Regardless of whether Hocking and McLachlan implement some variation of this new rule, it is likely that such player-coach meetings will be increasingly discreet in the future.