Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has denied he has any behavioural issues

Simon Goodwin has denied he has any behavioural issues and has backed Gary Pert amid fresh revelations about a crisis meeting between the Demons and the AFL.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has denied he has any behavioural issues or that there are deep-seeded cultural problems within the club amid fresh revelations about a meeting between the Demons and the AFL last year.

Leaked notes from the meeting last February – exclusively reported by the Herald Sun – have revealed that AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan suggested both Goodwin and Demons chief executive Gary Pert could be sacked after concerns were raised about the coaches’ behaviour.

McLachlan said on Friday he was “bemused” and “disappointed” that the private meeting between himself, AFL Commission Chairman Richard Goyder, then Demons president Glen Bartlett and club vice-president Mohan Jesudason had been documented.

McLachlan told Pert in a separate conversation — which was referenced in the leaked meeting notes — that Goodwin having a beer and a bet with players at the pub was “the tip of the iceberg” and the league boss questioned that if he was doing that “then God knows what else is happening”.

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AFL chairman Richard Goyder worried that Pert could prove a “blocker” if he was involved in confronting Goodwin about the issues.

However, the AFL boss said he was confident the issues raised in the meeting had since been addressed by Pert, with whom he had a “longstanding personal and professional relationship”.

“We were called to a meeting, concerns were raised, then Gary (Pert) and the club investigated the concerns and dealt with them and now we’re talking about a club where the coach is a premiership coach,” McLachlan said.

“I think that’s where it’s at and that needs to be recognised when looking at this.”

During the meeting last February, Melbourne also raised the prospect of strengthening the club’s illicit drugs policy and introducing hair testing for all club leaders.

Simon Goodwin has denied he has any behavioural issues. Picture: Getty Images
Simon Goodwin has denied he has any behavioural issues. Picture: Getty Images

McLachlan said on Friday he was “not sure” whether that had been implemented.

“These were issues raised by Melbourne and put on the table in a meeting initiated by Melbourne with Richard and I,” he said on 3AW radio.

“So we were giving feedback to their concerns, which was to take them seriously and for Gary Pert to get to the bottom of, which he did, and they were actioned and now they’re a premiership team.”

Asked about the revelations in the Herald Sun report on Friday, Goodwin denied that there were any ongoing issues.

“To be honest, I’m not interested in it,” he said when asked about the story.

“It’s an irrelevant story. Gary Pert is a complete man of integrity. I’ve got no behavioural issues. Gill McLachlan and Richard Goyder do a fantastic job at running our competition and if you guys can join the dots in between all of that then you guys go for it. But it’s a completely irrelevant story to me and our footy club.”

Questioned further about whether the club had a culture problem from the chief executive down, Goodwin again dismissed the leaked meeting notes, questioning the source of them.

“As I said, join the dots and work out where it’s coming from,” he said.

The fresh notes from the meeting surfaced after the Demons were embroiled in another scandal this week involving a serious scuffle between teammates Steven May and Jake Melksham last Sunday night.

The AFL Integrity Department is investigating the incident after “more information” came to light following Melbourne’s own investigation.

Originally published as Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has denied he has any behavioural issues

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