Home Sports Demons off-field dramas take a new turn

Demons off-field dramas take a new turn

The troubles off the pitch in Melbourne continue, with former president Glen Bartlett saying he was trying to rid the AFL club of bullying, gambling, harassment and illegal drugs at work.

Bartlett has also accused unnamed parties of subjecting himself and his partner to threats and a public campaign to discredit them since March last year.

The explosive development marks the first time in months that Bartlett has publicly commented on matters in Melbourne.

Since earlier this year, stories have surfaced of trouble off the field with the Demons during the summer of 2020-21, when coach Simon Goodwin came under increasing pressure.

Bartlett suddenly resigned as president in April last year after having held the role since 2014, with Kate Roffey taking over.

He then said he was “completely cooked” and Bartlett then resigned from the Melbourne board in November last year.

In the statement, released Thursday, Bartlett said: “The decision to resign when I did was mine.

“I did this to ensure minimal distraction after a promising and indeed historic start to the season.

“As a president, employment attorney/occupational attorney, and parent, I was unwilling to compromise fundamental values, the law, and expected standards of conduct.

“I believe that my approach and raising these issues resulted in a campaign against me from different angles

“Since March 2021, we (he and his partner) have been subject to threats, deceptive behavior and a public campaign to discredit us professionally and personally.”

Bartlett added that during his time as president, he “did everything possible to have a club free of workplace bullying; gamble; harassment and illegal drugs.”

When Bartlett resigned as president, the Demons had made a 4-0 start last season and would win the premiership, breaking a 57-year drought.

But after starting their flag defense with a 10-game winning streak, Melbourne has lost their last three games.

Aside from ongoing media stories about Melbourne’s off-field past, fullback Stephen May was suspended from a game last week after a fight at a local restaurant with team-mate Jake Melksham.

Captain Max Gawn has also been out for a few weeks with an ankle injury.

The Demons declined to comment on Bartlett’s statement.

© AAP

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