on air now

Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett hits back at AFL club chiefs

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has responded to AFL club chiefs who accused him of taking “cheap pot shots” at the Gold Coast Suns, saying he doesn’t take it too seriously.

The former Victorian Premier was lambasted in a brutal email exchange after he described the Suns as “a tragedy… but sadly a reflection on the capacity of the board and the people they employ”.

After his comments were published in the Herald Sun last month, Gold Coast Suns President Tony Cochrane emailed top AFL executives including CEO Gillon McLachlan and the other 16 club presidents.

He wrote:

“Dear Jeff … I’m not sure what you think bestows on you the right to pass judgment or otherwise on other AFL clubs … This is hardly your first time, with both St Kilda and Port Adelaide having received, in the recent past, your vitriol.

“Having cheap pot shots at other members of the greater AFL ‘family’ brings both yourself and your club into disrespect.

“Before putting your mouth into overdrive next, perhaps try neutral first and remember that these GC Suns Board Members are, like the Board Members at Hawthorn, doing their upmost (sic) … Instead of cheap personal shots you actually might like to applaud them for the hundreds of hours they commit to grow the game of AFL in Queensland.

“The A of course standing for Australia, of which the last time I looked Queensland was very much a part of? (even on maps in Victoria).”

Jeff Kennett joined Macquarie Sports Radio’s Clinton Maynard and Trent Nikolic to respond to the accusations.