Defiant Simon Goodwin insists he has ‘no behavior problems’ after bombshell report that AFL boss Gil McLachlan said demons could have fired him for claiming he drank and gambles with players
- Demon players Steven May and Jake Melksham were publicly demolished this week
- It comes after two consecutive losses to the winners of the premiership
- A 2021 report revealed that coach Simon Goodwin was under investigation
- He was almost fired for his behavior and the AFL boss had to intervene
- Now Goodwin has denied any wrongdoing and is adamant that the club is united
Understaffed Melbourne Demons coach Simon Goodwin insists his squad remains united and said there were no problems with his own behaviour, despite a scathing report that AFL boss Gil McLachlan said he could have been sacked last year.
Goodwin spoke on Friday after a tumultuous week that included a loss to the Sydney Swans, accusations of former and current presidents criticizing coaches and players and a physical altercation between teammates Steven May and Jake Melksham at a posh Melbourne restaurant.
Goodwin looks on ahead of the round 10 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium
May was subsequently suspended from the Queen’s Day game against Collingwood, while Melksham has to undergo surgery on an infected hand after hitting May. Both will be required to perform community service.
Goodwin insists there is no bad blood between players who lined up in the 2021 AFL premier and those who missed it, and that the club remains united.
“We have addressed it, we have handed out the sanctions and we will move on and learn from it,” he said.
However, allegations have been made about Goodwin’s own conduct, including allegations of bullying and drinking and gambling with players. Goodwin flatly rejected those claims.
“It’s an irrelevant story. I have no behavioral problems,” he said.
“You can dot the i’s and cross the t’s and find out where it comes from.”
However, it has been revealed that the ruffles at the Demons were so great that AFL boss Gillon McLachlan had to intervene in a February 2021 meeting that included AFL committee chairman Richard Goyder, then-Demons president Glen Bartlett and club vice president Mohan Jesudason.
Goodwin insists the playgroup remain united despite the recent revelations
The Demons investigated claims that Goodwin drank and gambles with players, bullyed a team doctor and other behavioral problems and was considering firing the coach ahead of the triumphant campaign that won the premiership in 2021.
That resulted in the meeting with AFL bosses in February where McLachlan reportedly offered to read the relact to Demons chairman Gary Pert, who allegedly threatened to undermine the investigation into Goodwin.
A few weeks after being unanimously appointed by the board to a 12-month term, Bartlett abruptly stepped down as president in early April 2021.