Fremantle legend Matthew Pavlich has labelled the West Coast Eagles as 'hypocritical' after the club fined seven players $5000 each after they were spotted at a local nightclub on April 30th.
West Coast has been plagued by constant injuries and COVID-19 cases through the first eight rounds of the season, leaving them bottom of the ladder with just one win.
After the depleted Eagles' resounding 109-point loss to Richmond at Optus Stadium in round 7, seven players were spotted out at a nightclub in Leederville the following day.
On Monday, the Eagles named the seven players while confirming all players had been fined $5000, with half of the fine suspended.
Pavlich believes the punishments handed out by the club to the players were too harsh and an overreaction, saying players should not be punished for taking a break from elite football.
"Yes, the Eagles have a long injury list at the moment, and given COVID is so rampant throughout WA, going to a nightclub wasn't the smartest move from these players," Pavlich said on Nine News Perth.
"But the Eagles have hung these players out to dry so the hierarchy can save face.
"It was an eight-day break between games, and players should be allowed to unwind from the pressures of a high-performance sport."
The six-time All Australian made reference to West Coast's party culture of the 2000s, where players were commonly out partying.
In that period, the Eagles won a premiership in 2006 and had a team filled with superstar talent, however, after the issues and challenges faced by players of that team including Ben Cousins, it is seen now as a troublesome period off the field.
"This is hypocritical from West Coast. Imagine if they took attending nightspots so seriously back in the mid-2000s...perhaps when they were winning it was easy to turn a blind eye to their off-field behaviour," Pavlich said.
West Coast face the undefeated Demons on Sunday afternoon at Optus Stadium, with many expecting another grim result for the Eagles.