Former Blues Boss owes $9m
Hello fans: Former business tycoon John Elliott has officially declared himself bankrupt. F1 GP to clash with footy in 2006 Police apologises for bungled investigation One of Victoria's most senior policemen has offered a personal apology over a botched investigation into a r*pe claim against an AFL footballer five years ago. Three players sent to trial for brawl Broadbridge to get double tributes Broadbridge laid to rest Trisha Broadbridge attends charity cricket match Taking the field during the break of innings at the MCG, the biggest names in Melbourne sport and fashion also pitched in for the appeal, showing that even the children's version of cricket is harder than it looks. Demons remembers deceased teammate Demons, Pies play cricket match AFL boss blasts country's selfish attitude Cats stand naming plan vetoed by council Ayres denies rift with McLeod No more Bulldogs' home games at SCG: Eade GF ticket thief receives community-based order In Brief General Silliness That's all for now. See you soon. Regards, Johnson Leung
Elliott, who owes more than A$9.2 million, filed a debtor's petition with Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA), the commonwealth government agency that regulates Australia's personal insolvency system.
The former Carlton Football Club and Liberal Party president first filed a proposal with ITSA last December, offering his creditors the repayment deal to avoid bankruptcy.
He offered creditors all the assets that would be available under bankruptcy proceedings and an extra A$300,000 from a family company.
Controlling trustee Stirling Horne of Melbourne chartered accounting firm Bentleys MRI had advised creditors to accept the offer. Horne said creditors could now expect from zero to 2.5 cents in the dollar.
He said the liquidated value of Elliott's assets was A$230,000 after bankruptcy costs of around A$190,000 were paid.
Elliott's bid to avert bankruptcy ended on January 29 when government agencies, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Department of Public Prosecutions, rejected his proposal to pay 5 cents for every A$1 he owes, despite seven of 13 creditors supporting Elliott at the meeting.
Minutes after the vote, an angry and defiant Elliott accused government agencies of hounding him into bankruptcy, but vowed he would be back.
Elliott accused the agencies of not acting in taxpayers' best interests. He said he thought the agencies made an emotional but "churlish and somewhat vindictive" decision to end his illustrious business career.
Elliott also attacked PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrators of his Water Wheel rice companies, for also voting down his proposal.
Elliott's downfall began in 2003, when Victorian Supreme Court judge Philip Mandie found he and fellow directors allowed Water Wheel to trade when they couldn't pay debts. In June that year the Court ordered him to pay A$1.4 million to creditors of Water Wheel, and banned him becoming a company director for four years. The ban became effective in May last year.
Water Wheel was to have been the way Elliott would rebuild his business career after losing his grip on Elders IXL in a debt-laden management buy-out in 1990.
On January 12, the High Court of Australia struck out Elliott's application for leave to appeal against the rulings as he had missed a deadline to lodge supporting documents. This means that by the time the ban runs out in 2008 he will be 67 and unlikely to be in a position to dust himself and start all over again.
Elliott said he would earn an income from speaking engagements and was considering some financial consulting work.
Elliott's ex-wife, Amanda, said she was disappointed, but had no doubt he'd bounce back.
Horne said Elliott's offering creditors a choice between 5 cents or about 2.5 cents in the dollar probably influenced their voting. He said he believed the government agencies felt they should make a decision based on public perception as much as what sums of money were involved.
Horne said he had little doubt Elliott, who once estimated his worth at A$45 million, was broke. He said if Elliott had hidden money from his creditors, he could face criminal charges.
Under bankruptcy law, Elliott can retain most household and personal items including furniture and appliances, superannuation and life insurance, and a car valued at up to A$5800.
He can earn a wage, but will have to give creditors half of anything he earns over about A$50,000 a year for the next three years.
Elliott's bankruptcy papers show he had A$232 in cash. His other assets include A$69,603 of NSW Ricegrowers Co-operative shares, A$52,170 in insurance policies, a A$50,000 share in a race horse, A$19,000 of furniture, A$5687 in superannuation, A$3114 in a trust account, and A$1786 of Haoma gold mining shares.
*Elliott has also been booted out of three exclusive men's clubs.
The ultimate ignominy came on Thursday night, when the committee of the secretive Savage Club upheld its constitution, which says a membership ends if a member is bankrupt.
The club in Bank Place, off Collins St, has been Elliott's exclusive lunch sanctuary for decades.
Elliott had earlier been told he was no longer welcome at the even more exclusive Melbourne and Australian Clubs, as either club accepts bankrupts as members.
A Savage Club spokesman told the Herald Sun newspaper before the announcement that the constitution allowed some flexibility when it came to kicking out bankrupts. He said whether Elliott was allowed to remain depended on the committee's view of him.
In the past, some members of Savage Club sitting several tables away have grumbled about not being able to hear their companions speak when Elliott has been in.
The Savage Club is one of the less exclusive Melbourne men's clubs, which also include the Kelvin, Athenaeum and Naval and Military clubs. It welcomes writers, artists and many other second-tier professionals as members, and is known for its bow-tie-wearing eccentrics.
The Australian Formula One Grand Prix is set to clash with the AFL next year.
Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker confirmed next year's race would most likely be on the weekend of April 28-30 to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games, which will be from March 15-26. But the date shift locks the Grand Prix into a head-to-head clash with a regular round of AFL matches.
Walker, also the chairman of 2006 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, will fly to London next week hoping to lock in the April date with F1 officials. He was confident the clash would not be an issue.
The date change of the Australian Grand Prix, traditionally the first race of the season, will almost certainly cause a major reshuffle of the F1 calendar. Walker said the 2006 season could begin in Malaysia but it would be up to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to decide.
The move also throws Channel Ten, which holds the exclusive broadcast rights to the Grand Prix and AFL, into a dilemma. (Ten's rights expire at the end of 2005 season but it is also certain to be renewed.)
Ten's sport manager David White said it was too early to speculate on the programming clash.
AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said the league might look at how many games it could move away from Melbourne that weekend.
Note: some contents of this report may offend.
A woman alleges that she had consensual intimate contacts with a player from the Carlton Football Club at a party in September 1999, but later woke to find herself being r*ped by another football player from the club.
The footballer, who no longer plays in the AFL, denied the allegation and no charges were laid.
On Thursday, Melbourne radio station 3AW broadcast allegations from a leaked copy of a State Ombudsman's report into the investigation. 3AW said the Ombudsman found that police failed to take a DNA sample from a witness, failed to investigate the crime scene properly, failed to interview key witnesses and had lost tapes of interviews with the accused man and other witnesses.
3AW also named the accused player as Heath Culbert.
After the radio broadcast, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Simon Overland said police had re-opened their investigation into the claim. Overland said he would not speculate on why the investigation failed, and that he was waiting on a copy of the Ombudsman's report. Overland admitted there had been an "almost total failure" by detectives assigned to the case meaning the investigation did not progress over a period of years.
Overland said he could not apologise on behalf of the force but he could offer a personal apology.
He said s*xual crime squad detectives had reopened the matter last year and the new investigation has proceeded - since the deficiencies in the original investigation had come to light - and was close to being complete.
Overland said the matter had been referred off to the ethical standards department, and three police officers who were involved in the initial probe could face internal charges. Two officers could be sacked while a third has already left the force.
The woman, known as Kate, who was 19 at the time of the alleged r*pe, claims she met a group of Carlton footballers at Crown Casino after the team lost the 1999 Grand Final to North Melbourne and was invited to a party.
She said she had close contacts with one player but later woke up to find another assaulting her.
Kate said she later made a report to police. She told 3AW she contacted the Ombudsman because she believed her complaints were not taken seriously.
Kate said that nothing could be done to punish the accused man and she felt vindicated by the Ombudsman's report.
She said she was not surprised at the report's findings and many girls were too scared to come forward because they were made to feel like liars.
A spokeswoman for the Ombudsman's office confirmed a woman intended to complain to the ombudsman about how the police handled her allegation about adult assault by a footballer. The office took the initiative and contacted the woman, and the Ombudsman then undertook a thorough investigation of the police response to her allegations. The spokeswoman said the report, completed last month, identified "serious deficiencies" in the police investigation and had recommended disciplinary action be taken.
The spokeswoman said the Ombudsman's office would not make public the report, in line with its obligation to protect the confidentiality of the complainant.
Copies of the report had been given to the police and the complainant, she said. The ombudsman's office investigates "well over" 2000 cases in relation to the police each year but only in "exceptional circumstances" were reports made public, she said.
Centre Against S*xual Assault program manager Marg D'Arcy said some police officers could be intimidated by accused high profile offenders.
"Police are individuals just like us and they're subjected to the same perceptions and biases and prejudices about an alleged offender's credibility," D'Arcy said.
D'Arcy said the handling of the case had been sub-standard but was relieved an inquiry was held. "The fact there's been a critical finding against the police should give all victims the confidence that any report of s*xual assault will be treated seriously."
D'Arcy also called on State Attorney-General Rob Hulls to look at the Victorian Law Reform Commission's recommendations. She highlighted the issue of using original transcripts of victims' evidence in appeals as the most important.
Neither the AFL nor Carlton media manager Ian Coutts would not comment on the matter.
A nephew of former AFL star Wayne Carey and two other footballers have been ordered to stand trial over an alleged brawl with security guards at Melbourne's Federation Square more than a year ago.
Kade Carey, 21, will stand trial on charges of recklessly and intentionally causing serious injury, affray and criminal damage. Collingwood defender Dane Swan, 20, and former VFL Williamstown player Aaron Ramsay, 22, will both stand trial on two charges of intentionally and recklessly causing injury and affray. All three have reserved their pleas.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg dismissed charges against Swan and Ramsay of recklessly and intentionally causing serious injury.
During a committal hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, Carey was described as the initiator of an attack at Federation Square in December 21, 2003 in which the security guards' heads were stomped on. The court heard that six police officers and a can of capsicum spray were used in his arrest after a drunken brawl that left two security guards in hospital.
Carey punched a policeman in the face as the officer tried to arrest him, the court was told.
Mr Rozencwajg said Carey started the brawl and Mr Swan and Mr Ramsay ran in to back him up.
and said he felt sympathy towards Ramsay and Swan, whom he believed did not start the fight.
Security guard John Halkidis told the court Carey ran straight through the policeman who tried to tackle him, then he saw another police officer deploy capsicum spray.
Halkidis said it took many officers to bring down Carey as he struggled violently for several minutes.
In a police interview after the attack, Carey said he could not recall anything that happened.
The three footballers will stand trial in the Victorian County Court
*A Hawthorn star recruit is one of nine men facing court next week over a Grand Final day assault allegedly involving a tomahawk, a wrecked car and a victim with a broken jaw.
Jordan Lewis, 18, was the Hawks' third pick in their draft and an All-Australian under-18 player last year.
He has been charged with assault and affray after AFL Grand Final day celebrations turned sour and a series of fights broke out.
There are allegations of a thrown tomahawk, smashed stubbies, and a street chase.
Eight other local footballers and residents from the Warrnambool region face identical charges relating to the incidents at Allansford in south-west Victoria in September 2003.
The incidents were allegedly sparked by a relationship dispute and long-running animosity between two groups.
A Hawthorn spokeswoman said the club was aware of the incident and supported the player, whom she said had been impressive both on and off the field in his attitude and application.
Also charged are Travis Graham, Nathan Millard, Scott Henry, Scott Patten, Aaron Conn and Joshua Guiney, all of Warrnambool, James Barton, of Dennington, and Scott Brian Barton of Grovedale.
The case is set down for a preliminary hearing on February 15 at Warrnambool Magistrates' Court.
Melbourne hopes to build their Round 1 clash against Essendon at the MCG on March 26 into a tribute for Troy Broadbridge, who played his first and last AFL games against the Bombers.
While plans are yet to be finalised, chief executive Steve Harris said it would be fitting to remember Broadbridge against the Bombers.
Broadbridge made his AFL debut against Essendon in Round 8, 2001, and kicked a goal with his first kick. His 40th and final senior game was last year's losing elimination final against the Bombers at the MCG.
Harris said the Demons were working with the Broadbridge family, the AFL and Essendon to discuss what a Round 1 tribute might entail.
Harris said the parties wanted to make sure it would be an appropriate remembrance and salute to Broadbridge and more important his spirit. He said it would be done sensitively and in conjunction with the family. He said the club were encouraged by the co-operation from the AFL and Essendon.
The Round 1 match is among the tribute options being considered by the Demons. The club is already considering a perpetual trophy contested against Port Adelaide, where Broadbridge's father Wayne played for 300 games in the SANFL.
Demons coach Neale Daniher said at the time any tribute the club put in place would have to have the full support of Trisha and the Broadbridge family.
*Trisha Broadbridge will return to Thailand this week for the first time since her husband Troy was killed in the Boxing Day tsunami.
She will tour Care Australia projects in some of the worst-affected areas of Thailand and Sri Lanka.
It is believed she wants to see what projects are in place and what she can do to help, and to see how she can establish a lasting memorial to her husband.
It is believed that Broadbridge, who played 40 games with the Demons, is one of only five VFL/AFL players since World War II to have died while still on a club senior list.
Demons defender and tsunami victim Troy Broadbridge has been farewelled in an emotional funeral in Melbourne.
Wearing a modified version of her wedding dress, Trisha Broadbridge farewelled her husband of eight days with an emotional repeat of her wedding vows.
"I promise I am going to love you on no matter what happens," she said through tears. "I love you so much Troy and I promise I am going to show you that for the rest of our lives."
Hundreds of mourners, including identities from most AFL clubs, joined the Broadbridge family and friends at St James Catholic Church in Gardenvale in southern Melbourne on the morning of January 20, to pay their final respects to the 24-year-old Melbourne defender.
As Tania Doko from Australian band Bachelor Girl sang Time To Say Goodbye, Broadbridge's family and friends put symbols of the footballer's life on his casket, including the last Melbourne footy jumper in which he played (he wore No.20), a hurdling medal and a photo of him with his two dogs.
During the service, footage of the couple's honeymoon in Phi Phi Island was shown, including when they walked into their hotel room and talked about how great the holiday would be.
Speaking on behalf of the Broadbridge family, John Evans said his nephew was "a sensitive, quiet caring, confident, respectful, courageous and talent young fellow" who had a bit of co-ordination and some intellect.
In a moving eulogy, Demons legend Jim Stynes recalled how Broadbridge never gave up. "Troy had a huge leap, could take a great mark, ran like a greyhound, could catch up and match up on talls or quick smalls, and was quietly confident with a wicked sense of humour," Stynes said. "He was the embodiment of team to his mates who had the privilege of playing alongside him."
Stynes described Broadbridge's wedding of Trisha on December 18 last year as "their best memory together". "For those lucky enough to be there it was a very special experience we will all cherish for the rest of our lives. And as for the bridal waltz – we never knew you had so many moves, Troy."
Stynes, who worked with Trisha at the Reach youth counselling organisation, urged all to use Broadbridge's life as inspiration.
Players from Melbourne Football Club formed a guard of honour as the casket was carried from the church.
Broadbridge's body arrived home in Melbourne on January 18. It was flown into Sydney from Thailand on a Thai Airways flight, along with a female tsunami victim, whose identify was not revealed on her family's request. Both coffins were draped in Australian flag.
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs provided a bouquet of native flowers when the aircraft containing Broadbridge's body touched down.
His parish priest from St Paul of the Cross in Adelaide, Father Mark Cooper, blessed the body with water and native fern fronds.
Fr Cooper said it was a difficult time for Broadbridge's relatives, but the family was pleased to have his body home.
"It is a relief, but also they acknowledge that it's the most difficult moment now since this has all occurred, because this is the final moment in which the death of Troy ... is acknowledged through his body returning now to his home country," he said. "But this is primarily a very difficult moment. It's the finality of what has occurred in their family's life."
Fr Cooper said Trisha had requested that Broadbridge's funeral be held on the 20th in tribute to his jumper and the significant impact he had on the football club.
Broadbridge's body was driven from the airport to the state coroner's office, where paperwork were finalised before his body was released to the funeral directors.
On the hot tarmac of Phuket International Airport the day before, Australian Federal Police chaplain Gary Stone prayed for the bodies and sprinkled the coffins with holy water. The federal police formed two neat rows of blue uniforms. As the Thai Airways pilots peered down from their cockpit, a mechanical lift delivered into the cargo hold the coffins.
Chaplain Stone said the service was for the families, but also for the police.
"On a human level, for us here, we are concerned that the families know at every stage we have cared for and been concerned for their loved ones, and that they leave this land in love, and journey peacefully back to their own families," he said after the blessing. "It's a bit of closure for us as well, as our part of our mission here has been completed - we've been able to reunite the victims with their families."
The two bodies were not the first Australians to be flown home, and certainly not the last. About eight or nine are thought to have been sent home before more strict victim identification processes were put in place. Broadbridge and the female victim were among the first to be assigned death certificates through the improved DNA identification process.
Evidence from bodies must go before a Royal Thai Police board, which assesses the information and issues a death certificate. Without this, bodies cannot leave the country. Hundreds of foreign dead are still being processed. Officials hope this will guard against loved ones receiving the wrong body.
Twelve Australian citizens and six permanent residents are confirmed dead. The Department of Foreign Affairs has grave concerns for nine people said to have been in tsunami-affected areas.
The number of people presumed dead in December's earthquake and tsunami has risen to more than 290,000. Indonesia was hardest-hit with close to 240,000 listed as dead or missing.
A brave Trisha Broadbridge attended a tsunami fund-raising cricket match at the MCG on January 10.
The Rest of the World XI thumped the Asian XI by 112 runs in the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal match, which drew some of the best cricketers from eight countries: Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and England (Rest of the World); India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh (Asia). The World team scored 344 runs and the Asian side replied with 232 runs. The match raised more than A$14.6 million for the tsunami relief effort.
"In the past 14 days we've seen the worst of life. Tonight, we've seen the best of it," said International Cricket Council chief Malcolm Speed at the post-match presentation.
The event was watched by 70,101 MCG fans and millions more on TV around the world.
Patrons emptied their wallets into World Vision bins set up around the ground, while more than A$1 million was raised from gate receipts alone.
Players had plenty of incentive to maintain the run rate, with phone company Hutchison Telecom (sponsors of Essendon Football Club and the Australian Cricket Team) chipping in A$1000 for every run and Toyota kicking in A$50,000 for every six-run hit.
In an emotional prelude to the historic match, a battered, bruised but unbowed Trisha met the players to personally thank them.
Trisha was warmly welcomed by Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting in the World XI rooms.
Trisha told how he saved her from the surging water on their ill-fated honeymoon. Close to tears but determined to maintain a brave face, she said her husband's face was the last thing she remembered before she passed out.
With a black eye and bruises that are slowly healing, Trisha spoke quietly to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist about the ordeal. "I'm having trouble sleeping," she told Gilchrist. "I'm waking up every three hours . . . I'm having nightmares about the tsunami, about keeping my head above the water."
Trisha said memories of the churning waters of Phi Phi Island that swept away her 24-year-old husband of just one week on Boxing Day were never far away.
She spoke of her husband's selflessness, the way the Melbourne defender pushed her out of the way before he vanished in the torrent.
Trisha thanked the cricketers for their commitment. She also spoke to Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden (both from Australia) and West Indian Brian Lara.
Trisha said doctors had warned her about the risk of infection.
Wearing a shirt signed by the players, Trisha later stepped on to the MCG where she embraced an emotional Prime Minister John Howard before he tossed the coin for the game to begin.
The MCG then fell eerily quiet for a minute's silence for the victims of the Boxing Day disaster.
But since, friends say Trisha has been facing some of her toughest moments, coming to terms with her loss while undergoing hospital treatment for critical complications.
Three days after the cricket match, she had to be admitted to hospital for treatment for infections resulting from the tsunami. Groggy from anaesthetic, she was released the next day, but is still in the care of her doctors, friends said.
A spokesman said one minute Trisha was feeling fine, the next she was crying in her room.
Superstar footballers such as James Hird and Brad Johnson wielded the willow with more enthusiasm than skill -- edging, skying and fluffing as many shots as came from the middle of the bat.
The footballers managed to hit plenty of balls into the crowd, but from just inside the boundary rope, none will be challenging Adam Gilchrist for a place in the Australian team.
Bali survivor Jason McCartney, and cricketers Belinda Clark, Melanie Jones and Cathryn Fitzpatrick also had a crack at the half-time kanga cricket.
Caterer Spotless donated its profits for the day and the City of Melbourne its parking revenue.
The pot was swelled midway through the match by a donation of A$3 million from Kerry Packer's family and his company PBL, which owns AFL and cricket broadcaster Channel Nine. Match sponsor Travelex gave A$1 million.
Earlier, the AFL announced it would contribute A$300,000 towards the World Vision fund.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the 16 AFL clubs and state football bodies of Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia had joined together to donate the money.
Across Australia, tsunami donations went close to the $200 million mark as grassroots Aussies joined corporate giants to dig deep. Boral and Ford each donated A$1 million.
A cheque of A$14,645,123.85 was presented to World Vision chief executive Tim Costello after the match, including gate receipts and donations made by those who attended. Costello had spoken to the crowd before the match, urging Australians to maintain the compassion.
A total of more than A$36 million were raised for World Vision in just three days. Two nights earlier, a three-hour telethon jointly organised by Channels Seven, Nine and Ten, featuring a concert on the forecourt of Sydney Opera House, raised more than A$20 million.
The final sum raised may not be known for some days, when revenues from television rights to 122 countries are finalised.
Torn by grief for the loss of tsunami victim Troy Broadbridge, Melbourne player have spoken out about the loss of the player who wore its No 20 jersey.
In a show of solidarity, the entire Melbourne playing group fronted the media on January 10 to "speak about our good mate Broady".
Broadbridge was remembered by his fellow Demons as a team-oriented player with a big heart, whose potential as an AFL footballer was not yet realised.
Club players and officials said they were determined to grow personally from the death of Broadbridge, who was killed while honeymooning in southern Thailand.
Coach Neale Daniher cannot imagine how losing their friend might affect his team's performance. "I've got no doubt that something positive will come out of this, and no doubt our group will be a lot tighter, be a lot more supportive of each other, and they'll take on a lot of Troy Broadbridge's spirit," he said.
Daniher said Trisha and the Broadbridge family had encouraged the club to "get on with the season". He said it was the wishes of Wayne Broadbridge and his family and Trisha that the players got back into training, even though it was difficult. (The following day, the Melbourne players trained at Sandringham – just as the Broadbridge family had wished.)
He confirmed Broadbridge's No. 20 guernsey has been retired for at least this season.
Daniher last spoke to Broadbridge just before the young defender's wedding day. "His wedding was just prior to Christmas, and he wanted to know what his training program should be," Daniher recalled. "I said, 'Mate, you can have your wedding day off'."
Daniher said it was comforting to know that Broadbridge was very happy at the time because he had just signed a two-year contract, bought a house and he was getting married.
The players outlined their former teammate's character, saying he was a humble and determined player who overcame injury and form setbacks to star in the thrilling elimination final loss to Essendon - ultimately his last game.
Captain David Neitz paid tribute to "the courage and bravery they've shown in coping with their loss". Neitz remembers Broadbridge's match against Essendon in an elimination final as his best, and can still see his wide smile.
Neitz said Broadbridge had a quiet determination and he was devoted to those he loved.
Reading from a statement on behalf of the players, Neitz's voice faltered several times as he spoke.
"Sometimes it feels unfair that this can happen to someone so caring and considerate to others, someone whose footballing potential has just been realised and someone so in love with his beautiful new wife, Trish," he said. "Sadly, in a tragedy such as this, fairness has no relevance and we join with families and the friends around the world who have lost loved ones and whose lives are forever changed."
Nathan Brown spoke of his good friend's quiet, generous nature, and his inclination to put his team first.
Clint Bizzell said it hurt to see Broadbridge's No. 20 guernsey hanging in his locker.
The players met Broadbridge's father Wayne and his wife Trisha the week before, and Neitz said the players had drawn inspiration from the meeting.
The Demons later attended the tsunami fund-raising cricket match at the MCG.
Players from Melbourne and Collingwood played a charity cricket match on January 30 to raise funds for tsunami victims.
The estimated crowd of 3000 at St Kilda's Junction Oval was shown players' hidden talents in the 20-over match, which raised about A$50,000 for the World Vision Tsunami Appeal.
Demons captain David Neitz said the match helped the club and its players deal with the grieving process of losing teammate and friend Troy Broadbridge.
Neitz and his Collingwood counterpart Nathan Buckley still struggle to put into words just how the devastation and destruction affected them. That's why both are keen to raise as much money as possible for charity.
Neitz and Buckley have not played cricket for several years, but both were keen to have a bat and bowl.
Former Australian cricketers Dean Jones and Colin Miller were part of the action. Jones scored 28 runs for the Demons but Miller made zero for the Magpies.
Collingwood batted first and scored 138 runs. In reply Melbourne was three runs short.
*The Sydney Swans had lent considerable support to the charity walk for Sri Lankan tsunami victims in Sydney's Centennial Park on February 6. Swans coach Paul Roos and star players Brett Kirk, Stuart Maxfield and Darren Jolly joined more than 20 other Swans and a host of top cricketers for the event. The walk aimed to raise money to build an orphanage in Sri Lanka.
A federal MP says AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou is in no position to moralise about Australian selfishness.
Victorian Liberal MP Sophie Panopoulos urged Demetriou to fix football's many problems instead of running down the national identity.
An ardent Collingwood fan, Panopoulos told Federal Parliament that Demetriou was "perhaps not in the best position to condemn an Australia that he says is more interested in surpluses than what we do with them", given he had a salary of about three times as much as that of Prime Minister John Howard plus benefits.
She singled out Demetriou's infamous attendance at an Andrea Bocelli concert last year while Essendon and Geelong battled out a cut-throat semi-final.
Panopoulos said the January 21 speech marked a "new low" in the annual Australia Day debate about national identity.
She rejected Demetriou's claim that Australia was less welcoming to newcomers than it was 50 years ago. "It's not un-Australian to want to protect our sovereignty and our borders, and it's not un-Australian to decide who will come to this country, who really is a refugee under our generous legal interpretations, and who we will assist," she said.
Panopoulos suggested that Demetriou should stick to football administration unless he wanted to enrol to become a Labor Party candidate at upcoming elections. She cited salary cap breaches, a new s*xual misconduct tribunal and a tougher approach to illicit drugs as problems more demanding of Demetriou's attention.
Demetriou's speech has already been criticised by Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, who accused the league boss of a "significant error of history" for suggesting the 1950s were more welcoming for migrants.
However, Victorian Premier Steve Bracks (a Labor MP) has strongly endorsed Demetriou's speech, saying it came "straight from the heart".
Speaking after Australia Day festivities at Melbourne's Federation Square on January 26, Bracks (who has a Lebanese background) said Demetriou was speaking from his own experience and his parents' experience.
Bracks said Australians faced "a danger of being a bit self-satisfied" about their embrace of newcomers.
"I think it's a welcome call to say that this nation has been built on a wave of migration and we need to welcome wholeheartedly those people who come to our country," he said. "We need to continue to ensure that we have that open and tolerant attitude."
In the speech, Demetriou said Australia had become a conservative country, less welcoming to newcomers than it was 50 years ago.
Speaking at the Australia Day lunch at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre on January 21, Demetriou said Australians were more inclined to self-interest than sharing and more interested in the stock market than education.
In a veiled dig at Prime Minister John Howard, Demetriou said he wanted Australia's boundaries to be open, and our welcome without prejudice.
"The next decade is a watershed for us as a country," he said. "It will see the transition from the Howard era to another era.
"What will come after John Howard? Who can know?
"All I can do is hope that the next generation of our leaders -- whether Liberal or Labor -- will think broadly and challenge their values and our values, rather than building barriers between us and a world we need."
Demetriou said in the John Batman Oration that when his parents arrived in Australia from Cyprus in 1951, newcomers were treated with respect and allowed to do their own thing, without prejudice nor any sense of superiority, as the Australians of the '50s wondered aloud about the strange habits of all these newcomers from Europe.
But Demetriou said Australians today had become wary of newcomers. He suspected it was an indication that the whole world is less trusting of the unknown than it has been in its modern history due to terrorism, localised violence and predatory behaviour.
Demetriou said Australia's reaction to the tsunami disaster had brought out the best in the nation, but he questioned whether the outpouring of compassion was a true reflection of the nation we had become.
Demetriou said he hoped the Australia of the future would react differently to an event such as the Tampa incident, than it had in 2001. (Tampa, a Norwegian-flagged ship, was refused entry into Australian waters in August 2001 because it had more than 200 asylum seekers on board. The people were later sent to Nauru for processing. Although the Liberal Party was criticised for its handling of the incident, it was returned at the Federal Election three months later as 9/11 influenced voters.)
"I'd like to think we might ask how do we embrace the people on board rather than how to rid ourselves of the problem," he said. "I'd like to think we'd respond as we did when the tsunami struck, rather than how we did when the Tampa arrived, uninvited, on our shores."
Geelong's plan of naming its new stand at Skilled Stadium after a club legend has been reportedly vetoed by the local council.
The Cats have granted A$4.5 million to the City of Greater Geelong for the stadium redevelopment, including the construction of the Eastern Stand. The grant is A$864,000 for 2004 and A$3.6 million for 2005.
The club has hoped to name the new stand after a club legend such as former premiership captain and coach Bob Davis, who has been a big part of the club since the 1950s, and former premiership player Graham "Polly" Farmer.
However, Channel Seven has reported that the Greater Geelong council has refused the club's request, saying it should be named after a local figure.
Cats supporters have a different view. Seven reported that a poll at the club's website showed that they wanted the stand named after club legends such as Davis, Gary Ablett, winner of three Coleman medals and the club's most prolific goalkicker, and Farmer.
The report said that Ablett had declined the offer of naming the stand after him.
The new Eastern Stand will open at the ground on May 1 this year, when the Cats play their first game of the season against the Western Bulldogs.
Former Adelaide coach Gary Ayres has denied claims of a rift with dual Norm Smith medallist Andrew McLeod.
Reports published in Adelaide quoted McLeod's estranged wife Rachael as saying the Crow almost quit the club just days before his 200th game in May last year.
She said McLeod's frosty relationship with Ayres was the major factor behind his disillusionment, which had been building up for some time. Rachael said she was shocked by McLeod's plea to head back to Darwin because he could not stand Ayres. She said if McLeod ever said anything to Ayres, he would not talk to him for a week.
She said she immediately called ex-captain Mark Bickley and enlisted a sports psychologist to re-motivate her husband.
Ayres told Melbourne radio station SEN he never had a problem with McLeod. He said his name had been muddied by Rachael's claims and said that it was easier to blame one person than other things.
When Ayres stepped down in June, Rachael was at Wimbledon keeping the injured Kim Clijsters company while her then fiance Lleyton Hewitt (McLeod's mate) competed. She said when McLeod called her of the news he was "pretty over the moon about it".
The couple split in October after McLeod spent time in the Northern Territory with Hewitt. On that holiday, McLeod met swimsuit model Brooke Sheahan. The two were seeing each other after the split.
McLeod's manager Ian Gray denied client was ever close to quitting.
Rodney Eade would like to see the Western Bulldogs stop taking home games against the Sydney Swans to the SCG.
Now at the helm of the Bulldogs after two years out of coaching, the former Swans mentor, who quit the club in late 2002, is hopeful a surge up the table will negate the need to shift home games from Melbourne's Telstra Dome.
In recent years, as the Bulldogs struggled financially in the competitive Melbourne market, the club has opted to sacrifice a home game against the Swans in attempt to make a profit at the SCG. However, Eade said he preferred the club to play at Docklands and have the full use of home ground advantage.
Eade said there were similarities between the first Swans team he coached in 1996, which went on to make a grand final, and the Bulldogs team.
Before signing with the Bulldogs, Eade revealed that he gave genuine consideration to an offer from the Australian Rugby Union last year to fill a coaching coordinator role. However he declined the offer because he always considered coaching in the AFL as his priority.
Eade's first game back at the SCG, where he coached the Swans for seven years, is in round nine.
*Eade also doubts that an AFL team could relocate from Melbourne to Sydney's western suburbs (a big rugby league stronghold) and be a success.
A Melbourne man who pleaded guilty to the theft of 100 AFL Grand Final tickets has been sentenced to an 18-month community-based order at the Victorian County Court.
Alexandra Dolidze, of East Bentleigh, pleaded guilty to one count of theft and four of obtaining property by deception relating to A$28,500 worth of 2003 grand final tickets that belonged to the St Kilda Football Club.
The 30-year-old father of two was working as a courier for Allied Express when he failed to deliver the tickets he had collected from the club in September 2003, the court was told.
The tickets were destined for a Perth company but instead Dolidze and two friends started selling the stolen tickets to people who had advertised for grand final tickets in newspapers.
Two men each bought six at A$300 a ticket, one man paid A$350 each for two and another handed over A$1000 for three.
The Perth company contacted St Kilda when the tickets failed to arrive and the AFL was forced to cancel the stolen ones and print new tickets at a cost of A$210.
One of the men who bought the stolen tickets called St Kilda after seeing a report of the theft on The Footy Show but two others were turned away at the gate on Grand Final day because they had invalid tickets.
Judge Jan Pannam said Dolidze's crime was opportunistic and stupid and he had breached his employer's trust. But she took into account his clean record, plea of guilty and his gambling problem at the time.
Dolidze was convicted and ordered to pay A$5510 compensation and perform 250 hours of unpaid community work.
*Some of the biggest names in Australian sport will be in Port Lincoln this Sunday (February 13) for a charity cricket match to raise money for the region's bushfire relief effort.
Australian cricketers Jason Gillespie and Darren Lehmann will join AFL football stars Che Cockatoo-Collins, Braydon Lyle, Byron Pickett, Gavin Wanganeen, Shaun Burgoyne, and Graham Johncock for a 20-over-a-side game.
Local cricket association spokesman Bluey Dunn says it should be a unique spectacle.
"I don't think you've ever seen a match like this in Australia," he said. "I've travelled pretty extensively and searching my memory ... I can't remember any event of this type taking place through my travels throughout Australia."
Bushfire hit the area in early January, killing eight people, including a mother and her two daughters.
*Melbourne Lord Mayor John So proved he was no pushover as he joined Collingwood footballer Shane O'Bree to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
It is the year of the rooster, but The Federation of Chinese Associations has chosen the Magpies as the Chinese New Year ambassadors, because the club wants to build ties with the Chinese community.
A Chinese Super League soccer side, Tianjin TEDA FC, arrived in Melbourne on Friday for a two-week training camp at Collingwood's Lexus Centre.
Collingwood star James Clement will be given the honour of blessing two new Chinese lions on Sunday (February 13) during celebrations in Chinatown (Little Bourke Street).
While the lions are said to bring luck to their blessers, many Collingwood fans remain sceptical.
*Former Fitzroy Football Club president and Olympic Games commissioner Leon Wiegard has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to sport.
*Herald Sun sports reporter Jim Wilson and sister Rebecca, who both departed unhappy from Channel Seven last year, have signed with Fox Footy.
Jim, who quit Channel Seven in October last year after 10 years with the network, is now an AFL reporter with the Herald Sun in Melbourne. Wilson's sister Rebecca is already a columnist for The Sunday Telegraph in Sydney, and their father Bruce is European correspondent for News Limited group of metropolitan newspapers, which covers Herald Sun and Sunday Telegraph.
Jim will host Fox Footy's Friday night edition of White Line Fever, do news reports and fill in on the Sunday night show The Winners when host Clinton Grybas is interstate.
As for Rebecca, she joined Seven with Tony Squires last year after 5 1/2 successful years on the ABC and admits, other than the Athens Olympics, it wasn't a happy year because the program, 110% Tony Squires were shuffled around with the timeslot and finally taken off air.
On Fox Footy, Rebecca will host AFL Lovematch, a quiz show in which players and their partners compete. "The idea is to have some fun and to showcase the women in a different way," she said.
The show will screen next month on the pay-TV channel.
*Meanwhile, Melbourne Football Club board member Beverley O'Connor, who was the temporary replacement for Jim Wilson at Seven after his departure, has signed a new three-year contract with the network. This means however she had to end her 18-year association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in which she had worked as a radio presenter, a TV news presenter (for Melbourne and satellite service ABC Asia Pacific) and host of VFL matches on Saturday afternoons.
*A Victorian man trading on the names of footballing legends Ted Whitten and Darrel Baldock has conned fans out of thousands of dollars.
Police said about 600 members of the St Kilda and Western Bulldogs football clubs had taken up the man's bogus offer for bottles of "commemorative port".
Police has searched a suspect's home in Tylden in western Victoria.
Senior Detective Bob Stanwick, of Footscray CIU, said the man had convinced the football clubs to release a list of their members' names and their contact details.
*Carlton Football Club physiotherapist Ivan Gutierrez oversaw a team of physios and masseurs at the 2005 Australian Open tennis. The Open had a team of four physios, nine masseurs and two ATP Tour trainers to treat the men and five masseuses and six WTA Tour staff for the women.
*The Sydney Swans have Channel Ten newsreader Sandra Sully well and truly in their sights.
The team wants Sully, who is a self-professed "diehard Carlton fan", as their number one fan.
"I'm not a fairweather fan," insists Sully, who admits "it would tear me apart" if Carlton and the Swans contested this year's AFL Grand Final.
However, star player Ryan O'Keefe reckons Sully is already their biggest fan despite her divided footy loyalties.
*Former AFL player Ryan Fitzgerald has found an unusual supporter in the form of James Hird. The Essendon captain was a Big Brother junkie and keen to discuss the show with Fitzgerald when they met at the tsunami cricket fundraiser at the MCG last month.
"I thought someone like James Hird would be the last person to watch the show, but apparently he got right into it," says Fitzgerald, who participated in last year's series but was eliminated with four weeks to go.
*AFL all-time leading goalkicker Tony Lockett says there is no connection between the way he played football and the naming of his Adelaide Greyhound Cup hopeful Collide. "I've got a Crash, a Collision and a Collide. I'm hoping to get one called Prang," Lockett said.
Former business tycoon John Elliott has officially declared himself bankrupt.
F1 GP to clash with footy in 2006
Police apologises for bungled investigation
One of Victoria's most senior policemen has offered a personal apology over a botched investigation into a r*pe claim against an AFL footballer five years ago.
Three players sent to trial for brawl
Broadbridge to get double tributes
Broadbridge laid to rest
Trisha Broadbridge attends charity cricket match
Taking the field during the break of innings at the MCG, the biggest names in Melbourne sport and fashion also pitched in for the appeal, showing that even the children's version of cricket is harder than it looks.
Demons remembers deceased teammate
Demons, Pies play cricket match
AFL boss blasts country's selfish attitude
Cats stand naming plan vetoed by council
Ayres denies rift with McLeod
No more Bulldogs' home games at SCG: Eade
GF ticket thief receives community-based order
That's all for now. See you soon.
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