MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Hawks President Jeff Kennett celebrates the win during the round 21 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has expressed his disappointment towards AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan after Tuesday night's press conference, where the league boss stated that Hawthorn may receive penalties for their handling of the racism investigation.

The nine month investigation ended on Tuesday night with no adverse findings against former Hawks coaches Alastair Clarkson, Chris Fagan, and welfare manager Jason Burt.

Kennett spoke with the Herald SunĀ on Tuesday sharing his opinion on the potential punishment for Hawthorn.

"I am profoundly disappointed at the comments by the AFL CEO tonight that they are contemplating taking action against the Hawthorn Football Club," Kennett said.

"What Hawthorn did in trying to establish whether racial discrimination was widespread in the club was absolutely the correct thing to do."

According to the AFL rule book, Hawthorn are set to be charged with rule 1.6.

Rule 1.6
Where the Commission is of the opinion that a person (or club) has contravened the provisions of the Memorandum or Articles of Association or the AFL Regulations or the AFL Player Rules or has been involved in conduct which is unbecoming or likely to prejudice the interests or reputation of the AFL or to bring the game of football into disrepute, the Commission may deal with any such matter in such manner as the Commission in their absolute discretion think fit and without limiting their power they may:

(a) refer any matter to the Tribunal or other body or person appointed by the
(b) appoint any person to inquire into any matter;
(c) conduct their own disciplinary inquiry into any matter; and/or
(d) impose a monetary sanction as provided in these Regulations/Player Rules

This rule was also used with the Essendon drug saga back in 2013.

"He can't on the one hand say it was wrong to find out whether the allegations of the Riolis were widespread or not," Kennett said.

"We did what any employer would do when something is brought to their attention. We tried to find out whether it was widespread or just isolated. We got the stories, a number of startling, disappointing responses."

Hawthorn has also issued a statement welcoming the end of the investigation and outcome.

"Hawthorn Football Club welcomes the decision by the AFL to end the Independent Panel process, reach an agreement with the complainants and make no adverse finding against any of the parties involved," the statement read.

"It has been a complex and delicate situation for everyone. We acknowledge that it has had a significant emotional toll on all those involved.

"The club is committed to continue to listen and learn to ensure we create an inclusive environment for our First Nations people."