Veteran reporter Caroline Wilson has suggested the AFL hit Shai Bolton with an excessive fine due to his coach Damien Hardwick’s comments about Marvel Stadium.
Bolton was handed a $20,000 fine by the AFL for his involvement in a nightclub brawl involving teammate Daniel Rioli despite Richmond initially claiming that there was no wrongdoing on the part of both players.
Wilson claimed that Hardwick and Richmond CEO Brendon Gale’s public complaints over a home game against the GWS Giants being played at Marvel Stadium sparked a “war” between the AFL and its reigning premiers.
“There is no doubt there is a war going on behind closed doors between Richmond and the AFL,” she told Nine’s Footy Classified. “Damien Hardwick front man, but he’s not the only man.”
“I have no doubt that if the AFL is true to form, Richmond will not get one, but probably two games at Marvel Stadium next year.
“That was ridiculous what Damien Hardwick said, particularly after a big win. There is a bit of hubris there from the coach.”
“The AFL was saying that Richmond had nothing to answer for, that was the feeling coming from both Richmond and the AFL.
“Then suddenly, Bolton is fined $20,000 out of nowhere. That is a massive fine and there is something that has gone on.
“Is that anger at what Damien Hardwick said? I absolutely think there is spite there on both sides.”