Toby Greene arrived at the AFL Tribunal with manager Paul Connors.
Toby Greene arrived at the AFL Tribunal with manager Paul Connors.

‘Disgrace’: Greene’s manager erupts after appeal ruling

Toby Greene's manager Paul Connors has slammed the AFL after the GWS Giants star was unable to overturn his one-match suspension.

The saga has dominated the week ahead of the AFL preliminary finals with Greene unable to get his one-match ban for making unreasonable or unnecessary contact to the eye region of Brisbane Lions midfielder Lachie Neale overturned.

On Tuesday at the Tribunal hearing, Greene was found guilty despite Neale coming out in the Giants star's defence.

Neale's testimony did come at as the AFL appeals panel heard the case but the AFL counsel called it "vague".

After a two-hour appeal hearing, the panel decided to uphold the initial decision and wipe Greene out from the preliminary final, a week after handing the star a $7500 fine for "serious misconduct" against the Western Bulldogs' Marcus Bontempelli.

After the decision was handed down, the Giants left very quickly with Toby Greene offering only a few words.

"I'm bitterly disappointed. We thought we had a strong case. I'm looking forward to Saturday and supporting my teammates," he said.

Giants CEO Dave Matthews also answered just one question, revealing the side wouldn't be taking the case further.

"No we won't (take it to court). As disappointed as we are we won't do anything further. We've put forward two very good arguments twice this week," Matthews said.

"We obviously felt the evidence was all in Toby's favour. We're stunned as a lot of people would be by the decision tonight.

"In the end that's where we'll leave it. We've got Saturday to focus on and we'll now move on."

But on 3AW, Greene's manager didn't hold back.

Connors, right, erupted on radio.
Connors, right, erupted on radio.

Speaking on Sportsday, Connors was furious with the decision.

"I sat through the two-hour hearing. I think the issue is we probably should not have been there in the first place given the events of Tuesday night," Connors said.

"As our QC said, it was just a hopeless decision in the first place and I sat through and watched the vision 1000 times and I have no idea how they've come to the conclusion at the MRO or Tuesday night, how they could find him guilty of touching Neale's face.

"I'm flabbergasted, I'm devastated for Toby and I think we've got to ask some questions.

"I could not agree more (that Greene is victimised because of his reputation). If this was any other player, this would not have even got through the MRO."

Connors said Greene was "gutted", but said he would take it up with the highest levels of the AFL, arguing "If this was a Collingwood player there would be uproar".

"I could not agree more (that he's been victimised for who he is and not what he's done)," Connors said.

"If this was any other player, this would not have even got through the MRO.

"You have to watch it a thousand times to see the technicalities. It would not have got anywhere. I'm devastated and a bit upset to even talk at the moment but I felt compelled to talk.

"If this was another player - and I don't' want to name individuals - if it was any other player, especially at Collingwood, I don't think we'd be hearing the last of it. There is not enough people standing up for Giants people on their own.

"I've been very supportive of the expansion clubs. In 20 years of management I've never seen a worse decision. You can have your opinions on Toby, but on the facts of the facts, this is a disgrace."

Toby Greene fronted the media.
Toby Greene fronted the media.

Speaking on Fox Footy's AFL360, 211-game veteran Dermott Brereton was stunned by the decision.

"I look at it and think 'Toby, if you're guilty of anything, it's idiocy for placing yourself in that position again', but is there anything that warrants a week suspension in his action, I still can't see anything," Brereton said.

"For a young man at 25 years of age, Saturday will be the biggest two hours of his life so far and he's denied it. I still can't see anything.

"You've got to understand the psyche of a player who plays on edge and is a brilliant player, he will do everything he can to make the opposition at unease and that's part of it. He didn't rake his eyes, he didn't pull his mouth, he didn't strike him, he didn't ram his face into the deck.

"There's a lot of little acts that you say don't look good but they look unsavoury. I cannot work out why there's a week suspension on that except for 'we gave you the benefit of the doubt last week, you're back here again, here's a week'."

Fellow AFL legend Jason Dunstall said Greene is "a career criminal" and that the act was "stupidity and nastiness rolled into one".

He reminded everyone of the 17 charges Greene has copped so far in his career.

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