Star Collingwood forward Travis Cloke has been fined $1000 by his club for using the car park of chief executive Gary Pert once too often.
In an extraordinary revelation late on Monday night, Fairfax Media understands the club’s leadership group handed down the sanction to their blue-chip key forward last week.
Car parks outside the club’s training base at the Westpac Centre are in short supply and it’s believed Cloke had been repeatedly warned about parking in the spot reserved for Pert.
It’s understood the All-Australian and premiership player had been parking in Pert’s spot on and off for more than a year.
The AFL Players Association released a statement suggesting Collingwood has no right to fine Cloke for what it sees as a trivial indiscretion.
”It sounds like a ludicrous situation,” an AFLPA spokesperson said. ”We can only assume there has been some kind of confusion – clearly the AFL players’ code of conduct makes no reference to players being sanctioned for parking in an executive’s car space.”
Cloke signed a five-year contract to stay at Collingwood late last year, but only after a season of protracted negotiations.
Cloke said last week that the uncertainty surrounding his contract status had affected his on-field performance and caused disagreements with his father, David.
It is the second time in recent days that the Magpies have fined a marquee player for non-football related indiscretions.
The Pies slapped Brownlow medallist Dane Swan with a fine for taking part, without the club’s permission, in a television interview in which he addressed rumours about alleged drug use.
Swan’s manager Liam Pickering said if Swan was fined the full permitted amount of $5000 by the club, he would take the issue up with the players’ association. It is understood Swan’s fine is less than that.
Swan’s interview aired on Channel Nine’s The Footy Show last Thursday and the next day Pies president Eddie McGuire warned that fines would increase for players who break club rules.
McGuire said the $5000 ceiling for fines that clubs could impose on players was inadequate.
”If I could make it 25 grand, I’d make it 25 grand to make the point,” McGuire said on Friday in relation to the fine imposed on Swan.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.