GWS star Greene not victimised: AFL boss

Player manager Paul Connors (R) is furious star Toby Greene's (L) one-match ban has been upheld.
Player manager Paul Connors (R) is furious star Toby Greene's (L) one-match ban has been upheld.

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan is rejecting suggestions GWS star Toby Greene has been victimised.

GWS is seething at Greene's one-match suspension being upheld by the AFL appeals board on Thursday night.

GWS chief executive David Matthews says he now has little confidence in the tribunal process and Greene's manager has lashed the system.

The Giants have ruled out legal action and Greene will miss Saturday's preliminary final against Collingwood after being found guilty of making unreasonable or unnecessary contact to the eye region of Brisbane's Lachie Neale in last weekend's semi-final.

Greene was fined $7500 for a similar incident with Western Bulldogs' Marcus Bontempelli in an elimination final the week prior.

Greene's manager Paul Connors believes Green has been victimised but AFL boss McLachlan disagrees.

"I think that's clearly wrong," McLachlan told 3AW radio on Friday.

"He's the manager of the player ... and clearly emotional."

McLachlan refused to say whether he believed Greene deserved to be suspended or not.

"I'm not going to comment on that," he said.

"Other to say, the MRO (match review officer) made a decision, it went to the tribunal - an independent tribunal made a decision to uphold it.

"And then it went to the appeals board which are chaired by an ex-Supreme Court justice, lawyers on there with a history on football, and they have said that the decision wasn't unreasonable.

"It has gone through the process. Everyone has their views but an independent process has validated this."

McLachlan said match review officer Michael Christian, a former Collingwood premiership player, had done a "great job" in assessing incidents this season.

"This is sort of like the hot point of the emotion of football, about people whether they have transgressed and should be suspended or not" he said.

"People have different views and that is why we have a clear independent officer with Michael Christian and an independent process to debate all that."

Connors sat next to Greene throughout the two-hour appeals board hearing on Thursday night.

"He's gutted. It's a preliminary final we're talking about, this is big and if this was a Collingwood player, there would be uproar," Connors told Sportsday.

"In over 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.

"If this was any other player, especially if he was at Collingwood, I don't think we'd be hearing the last of it."

Greene has now been suspended for seven games across his 144-game career and racked up more than $26,000 in fines.

Matthews on Friday noted Christian had played in a premiership for Collingwood.

"And it feels like we've been playing Collingwood all week," Matthews told Macquarie Radio.

"But in the end, you need to respect the people who the AFL appoint, it's their call, and I'm not casting any aspersions on the way they make a judgment but it's a conclusion that a lot of fans draw."

Australian Associated Press