In the midst of investigations into the behaviour of AFL player manager Ricky Nixon by David Galbally QC, according to the ABC and sportsnewsfirst, Ricky Nixon has reportedly stated he intends to stand down from his role as AFL player-agent. He has checked into a rehabilitation clinic for treatment.
Nixon returned to Melbourne today from Europe. At this point in time, it is still unclear as to whether he will co-operate with Galbally’s enquiry. David Galbally has sent correspondence to Ricky Nixon’s lawyer requesting him to answer questions about his sexual relationship and his alleged supply of cocaine to the 17 year old Saints girl at the centre of the St Kilda Football scandal. The latter allegation is a serious criminal matter with harsh penalties. It doesn’t appear as if the Police have questioned Nixon over the criminal allegations and there doesn’t appear to be any explanation why.
Whilst Nixon has announced he is quitting as a Manager and Agent, he formerly insisted that it was his intention to continue to effectively run his sports management ‘Flying Start’ through another AFL accredited agent. Nixon was adamant he would do this even if his licence was revoked.
The AFL Players Association hasn’t made any statement in response to Nixon’s expressed intention to continue to remain active in the company behind the scenes, using another AFL accredited agent as a puppet. This kind of conduct is not tolerated in any profession or company in which a Director has their powers stripped by ASIC. Why should it be tolerated in AFL land?
The girl at the centre of the Saints scandal has gathered graphic video evidence of Nixon’s activities which has been inspected by David Galbally QC as part of his investigation commissioned by the AFL Players Association.
As previously reported Matt Finnis, CEO of the AFL Players Association didn’t seem too fussed about whether Nixon co-operated with Galbally or answered any of his questions about his dealings with the adolescent.
The teenage girl alleges Nixon brought cocaine and alcohol to her hotel room, the same room which the St Kilda Football Club paid for as part of their settlement of earlier legal matters pursued by them against her, involving compromising pictures procured by the girl of St Kilda Football players.
The girl also alleges that Nixon and her had sex on several occasions in the accommodation arranged by the St Kilda Football Club as a safe haven.
The St Kilda Football Club had earlier promised to tie up the girls’ life for the next 15 years for publishing the photos by vigorously pursuing legal action against her. As part of a settlement of the matter they promised the ward of the state to pay a few months accommodation to get her life back on track.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the affair is Nixon’s early intervention in the case. On his own admission he was one of the first to try to fix the conflict between the girl and the Club, and publicly claimed to be the first to ring her parents over the issue.
Months ago there were photos of the adolescent semi-naked in Nixon’s hotel room, facts which the AFL and players were well aware of, including text messages between the two, yet chose to ignore or turn a wilful blind eye to.
During Nixon’s intimate relationship with the girl, he learnt that journalist Caroline Wilson was going to write a questionable article about him concerning his relationship with the teenager.
Nixon then started to apply pressure to the girl to put in a good word for him and to tell the journalist that he was ‘sort of trying to help her out’.
This is the face of the AFL, a culture of pressuring witnesses, victims, law enforcement agencies, the media and anyone else who threatens to expose their misbehaviour into participating in their brotherhood like culture of cover up.
What the public seem to have forgotten is that Andrew Demetriou and Ricky Nixon were, on their own admission, the first individuals to come into contact with the girl and deal with her complaint. Both have a well established reputation in the field of public relations and damage control.
At the time of investigating her complaint, a large part of which involved complaints over humiliating behaviour, transcripts and emails circulated by players, Demetriou was in possession of incriminating evidence in the form of emails which identified several former and past AFL players which were directly the subject of the teenager’s complaint.
Instead of acting on this evidence Demetriou made a conscious decision to ignore it and sweep it under the carpet in traditional AFL style. This was the old way of dealing with matters, Demetriou has told us many times in the past. Under his leadership everything would change, particularly in dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct against women under his Respect and Responsibility Program.
In the early phase of the complaint when there was an opportunity to deal with and hold players accountable absolutely nothing was done by the CEO of the AFL, apart from suppressing evidence, which Demetriou was solely responsible for as both the CEO of the AFL, and the person in charge of the investigation and complaint lodged by the teenager.
Demetriou has on many occasions promised the public that under his watch the culture of cover up he claimed to know of personally would cease.
However history has proven that in relation to this scandal, the culture of cover up started and ended with Demetriou and his close friend of many years, AFL player-agent Ricky Nixon.
Demetriou self-righteously suggested Nixon should stand down, conveniently glossing over the fact that he had engaged in a cover up of his own as CEO of the AFL, the head of the AFL who was directly involved in suppressing evidence.
He ignored evidence which would have and could still be used to punish AFL players under various codes of conduct he so proudly speaks of bringing into being. Demetriou says a lot of things to impress the public. In his statement relating to the Nixon matter, he said that the hard lesson learnt was that the Code should be extended to AFL player-agents. Why bother extending a Code of Conduct so that more people subject to sanction under the Code can escape it’s consequences Andrew?
Demetriou and Nixon have a long relationship, both personally and professionally. It was Nixon who was responsible for catapulting Demetriou through the ranks of the AFL to where he is today. Both share the same mentality on many matters including transforming AFL from a sport into a highly lucrative commercial product.
Both fiercely defend ‘the brand’ and showed that in doing so they were prepared to sacrifice a young adolescent girl to protect their commercial and professional interests.
Both issued the same kinds of verbal statements when the girl’s story first broke, namely “this girl needs help“.
The commonalities don’t end there.
Both were involved in contaminating investigations, Demetriou in suggesting when the story broke that this girl was just a ‘troubled adolescent who the AFL had offered support to and was in need of counselling.
Demetriou knew that he had ignored incriminating evidence he had in his possession, not limited to emails, which may have put an end to the matter in early 2010 when her complaint was first brought to his attention by her. He knew she was troubled and had attempted suicide at that point yet, despite his professed concerns for her welfare, he chose to do absolutely nothing to prevent the ongoing damage to her welfare and state of mind.
Nixon also employed a strategy which was eerily similar, portraying the girl as “troubled’ and unstable. If you look into the annals of history when any woman has brought similar complaints to the AFL it is a time worn strategy.
Nixon also tried on more than a few occasions to pervert and obstruct any scrutiny of his behaviour and to obstruct investigations. Nixon’s attempts to do so by verbally coaching the girl were caught on tape.
Ricky Nixon’s text messages, emails and phone calls reveal him urging her to issue a media statement authored by Nixon himself.
Nixon asked the girl to read the following statement as if it were her own:
“I want to clear the air about what happened that night in the hotel room. I want to put on the record there was no sex and there was no drug-taking. When I tell people I have been having sex with him, I never dreamt it would get the coverage it has. I then put together a video which gives the impression we had sex and drugs.”
This is the culture that the teenager has been dealing with since the inception of her dealings with the AFL, in addition to a culture of Police corruption. The AFL were consistently contacting her whilst she was speaking with Police with AFL figures coaching her to inform the Police that there were no drugs involved in her activities with AFL players.
The two main AFL figures which have been involved in handling the girls’ complaints have been Demetriou and Nixon.
At a time of desparation early in 2010, when her life was being ruined by hurtful emails surrounding her relationship with AFL players, Demetriou had the evidence in his hands and could have put a stop to it. He decided not to. If he was concerned about her welfare when the story broke, why did he sit back and do nothing precipitating what could easily have been a suicide by a girl who was besieged by death threats, mockery and humiliation? Was her welfare and state of mind likely to improve in the face of the deluge of unrelenting pressure being brought to bear upon her? She was alone compared to the crazed AFL players whose fans were and still continued to join in their frenzied attack upon her.
Instead of dealing with those grievances, the most powerful man in AFL, and perhaps in Victorian life, merely sat back and allowed his codes and policies to rot, permitting her to be subjected to unrelenting mockery and public humiliation at the hands of AFL players and a growing bunch of AFL fans and hangers on.
It was only at this point that the girl used the internet as her only weapon to reveal ‘her truth’.
To compound the situation Demetriou continued to allow Nixon to deal with the matter whilst continuing to portray her girl publicly as deeply troubled and in need of counselling.
It must have come as a relief to Demetriou to have the spotlight taken off him by Nixon’s subsequent behaviour.
However Demetriou, in his capacity as the CEO of the AFL, and the person to whom the girl brought her initial complaint, is culpable for a large part of what subsequently occurred, by choosing to engage in a culture of cover up and suppressing evidence, rather than confronting the problem when it could have been managed.
Despite all of Demetriou’s public rhetoric about having effected real change in the AFL, particularly in the treatment of women, he behaved in the same kind of conduct as did Nixon.
The only difference was that Nixon engaged in a sexual relationship with the girl and supplied her with drugs after much of the damage had been done to her by the Demetriou/Nixon team.
Demetriou obstructed the course of an AFL investigation, after pledging to the public that the culture of cover up he was so intimately acquainted with would end under his reign.
The public rarely stop to closely examine what Demetriou says publicly and compare it to his actions which are the true test of the substance of the man. If you carefully scrutinise Demetriou’s rhetoric that is really all it is. If you consider some of his public pronouncements more closely, major holes in his credibility emerge.
Demetriou publicly announced that his close friend Ricky Nixon should step down in his opinion.
However to any person who has followed the chain of events and Demetriou’s actions and inaction, his words and his deeds, it becomes clear that responsibility for what has occurred rests with Demetriou.
Demetriou should step down in his role as CEO of the AFL pending an investigation into his serious mishandling of the saints girl scandal.
There are serious questions surrounding Demetrious’ conduct revolving around his failure to enforce the AFL Codes of Conduct, and the blatant misrepresentation that the emails he claimed he had personally and thoroughly inspected, consisted only of those which identified PAST AFL players, not present AFL players.
This public assertion subsequently turned out to be untrue.
Demetriou has not provided an explanation to the public for his lies in the wake of the emails becoming available to the Age newspaper.
When asked by Neil Mitchell on 3aw why he wouldn’t take action against former AFL players whose identity was known from the emails, his response was that they “weren’t the beneficiaries of the current policy“.
Clearly Demetriou’s response reeks of deception and obfuscation.
The part that he has played in this sad affair has been critical yet seems to have been overlooked by all concerned. Demetriou knew all along that the emails could be associated with present players over whom he had power.
Even past players could have been effectively sanctioned through their membership rights where they were current members.
By contrast where the NRL have been involved in allegations of wrongdoing, David Gallop has shown strong leadership which the NRL as an organisation have been the beneficiary of. If anything, the NRL have on occasions been overly punitive in their condemnation of inappropriate behaviour, however their players have come to realise that for the most part unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated.
On the other hand Demetriou symbolises the old culture of cover up.
Whilst he continues to allude to his progressive sparkling new set of policies, codes and programs, his conduct and public statements speak of a ‘leader’ more concerned in protecting the AFL’s commercial interests. To that end, he has been prepared to engage in the suppression of evidence and the portrayal of young girls who come to him asking for their complaints to be dealt as simply dysfunctional.
- AFL brotherhood & Saints girl cover up
- AFLPA, Galbally, Nixon and the privilege against self-incrimination
- DICKILEAKS – SAINTS GIRL WANTS AFL CODE OF CONDUCT ENFORCED
- Dickileaks – Demetriou Should Resign Pending Investigation of Misconduct
- Dickileaks – Saints and Teenager Arrive At Settlement in Saints Photo Scandal