AFL chief executive Gill McLachlan.
AFL chief executive Gill McLachlan. JULIAN SMITH

AFL boss says banning journos 'quite a good idea'

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says the league will consider stripping accreditation from journalists if they "make things up".

McLachlan said the AFL agreed with Nathan Buckley's left-field suggestion after a report Ross Lyon had approached the Pies about coaching them.

Brownlow Medallist Brad Hardie stands by the story, which was fiercely denied by Fremantle coach Ross Lyon and the Pies.

Told by 3AW's Neil Mitchell it was a Stalinist idea that would censor the media, McLachlan said journalists had to be held accountable.

He said it would not be for simple mistakes but stories which were incorrect and had significantly negative consequences.

"I actually thought it was quite a good idea," he said.

"I think there is responsibility everywhere. Our players, coaches, officials, everyone is held incredibly accountable every day but we are talking about people's livelihoods and careers and this allegation talks to integrity.


Collingwood Magpies coach Nathan Buckley looks on during a team training session in Melbourne.
Collingwood Magpies coach Nathan Buckley looks on during a team training session in Melbourne. JOE CASTRO

"If someone is making something up that has such significant ramifications, there has to be an accountability for that.

"Taking accreditation away seems to me to be a very logical outcome of that. I reckon it is worth looking at.

"It is not for an opinion, it is making something up that is completely wrong and is something which I would say is a complete lie.

"That has an impact on people's lives and goes to Nathan's ability to be coach next year, goes to the integrity of Ross Lyon who is in contract and there is an ethical responsibility of the journalist to not make stuff up.

"We have accountability for people making things up."

Hardie stands by his story that an intermediary of Lyon sounded out someone at Collingwood to discuss the possibility of a switch.

Presumably it would be the AFL as the sole arbiter of journalistic integrity in an industry where lying from clubs, officials and coaches is the second language of the sport.

McLachlan made no mention of the persistent misinformation pushed by clubs about injuries, late changes, selection issues and controversies that continue to plague the sport.

Mitchell said many stories he had presented which were said to be lies or fabricated were later proved to be 100 per cent correct.

News Corp Australia