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Western Bulldogs cop suspended $20,000 fine for serious rule breach

The league has just issued a statement about the club’s error that was made back in 2022.
The Western Bulldogs have been issued a $20,000 suspended fine for the administrative errors

The AFL has sent the Western Bulldogs a warning after identifying a serious rule breach.

The club has been hit with a $20,000 suspended fine for making “administrative errors” on its Total Player Payments submission for the 2022 season.

The errors are in relation to third-party agreements involving their AFLW program.

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The AFL said in a statement that the club would not have to pay the fine unless a “similar breach is identified in the AFL or AFLW programs” up to the end of their respective 2024 seasons.

“These errors were identified in the ordinary course of audit procedures conducted by the AFL and were not considered material in nature with respect to value or intent,” the AFL said in a statement.

The Bulldogs AFLW team won the flag in 2018 but has struggled to be a threat since.

The Dogs AFLW team finished bottom last season and coach Nathan Burke was sacked.
The Dogs AFLW team finished bottom last season and coach Nathan Burke was sacked. Credit: Getty Images

There were two season in 2022 and the Dogs narrowly missed finals in the first and scraped into the finals in the second, only to be knocked out in the first week.

Last year was a nightmare season where the injury-hit team finished rock bottom with just one win to its name.

In November the club then decided to sack its coach, AFL legend Nathan Burke.

Burke, a much-loved St Kilda champion and four-time All-Australian, had been scathing of the club’s professionalism and fitness during his cursed final season.

He was appointed coach ahead of the 2020 AFLW season, leading the club for five campaigns for just the one finals appearance.

The club conducted a wide-sweeping review at the end of last year in which the men’s team also failed to make finals.

In the aftermath of the review, the Dogs appointed a general manager of women’s football and promoted Matt Egan to a new role of football operations general manager.

The review identified four key areas that needed to be improved, including football department structure, culture and environment, coaching roles and responsibilities, and development and education.

Club president Kylie Watson-Wheeler said: “Ultimately, the review highlighted that we have what we need to set us up for success, but it’s a matter of having things in the right place and leveraged in the most effective way.”

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