Former Fremantle coach Chris Connolly has a radical proposal to shake up the way suspensions are served in the AFL.
Speaking on SEN Radio on Wednesday, Connolly suggested suspensions should be served the next time the suspended player plays against the team he performed the action against, rather than the following week.
For instance Bachar Houli, who was handed a two-game ban for striking Carlton’s Jed Lamb, should miss the next two games Richmond play against the Blues.
Connolly’s argument is that the Blues were disadvantaged and were a man down for most of the match last weekend and the Tigers should be disadvantaged the next time the two sides meet.
“Bachar Houli should serve his sentence against Carlton the next two times he plays against Carlton,” Connolly said.
“If he retires in the meantime he gets a significant fine per game, so it might be $20,000 per game. If he’s injured that doesn’t count as one of the servings of the suspension.
“Carlton have got the raw end of the prawn here, they’ve got a man knocked out early in the game, and the two teams who benefit from Bachar Houli not being available are Port Adelaide and St Kilda.”
Connolly says he believes it will reduce the number of reportable incidents, particularly in games involving finals contenders.
“You do run the risk, you think about this, GWS is playing Sydney let’s say, now there’s some type of a chance particularly leading into the season they could play off in a Grand Final,” Connolly said.
“If you get reported against one of the better teams and you end up playing them in a Grand Final you won’t be playing.
“There’s just added incentive to not do these actions that get you reported.
“I feel for Carlton here because they’ve been disadvantaged on the weekend and have no benefits moving forward.
“Carlton not having Bachar Houli on the ground the next two games is payback if you like. Why should St Kilda and Port Adelaide have any benefit for Bachar Houli’s suspension?”