The Brisbane Lions have announced head coach Chris Fagan will take a “leave of absence” while the AFL investigates shocking allegations from his time at Hawthorn.
On Wednesday, ABC Sport reported bombshell allegations of shocking mistreatment of indigenous players.
In a statement, Brisbane said: “The Brisbane Lions are aware senior coach Chris Fagan will work with the AFL concerning an investigation into allegations historical events at the Hawthorn Football Club, where he was an employee.
“Chris supports and welcomes the investigation. He was not consulted during the Hawthorn sponsored review and looks forward to the opportunity to be heard as part of the AFL investigation.
“The Brisbane Lions and Chris have mutually agreed that he will take a leave of absence from the Club so he can fully co-operate in the investigation.
“As the matters are now with the AFL Integrity Unit, the Brisbane Lions won’t make any further comment at this stage.”
The Lions were eliminated from the AFL finals series last week when they suffered a 71-point defeat to Geelong in the preliminary final.
The football world reacted with widespread calls for former Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson and his top assistant Fagan, who is now head coach of the Brisbane Lions, to stand aside following the release of the report.
The AFL and Hawthorn Football Club has confirmed the AFL’s integrity department is investigating the shocking allegations and was given the information two weeks ago.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan fronted the press on Wednesday morning and suggested the immediate futures of Clarkson and Fagan would be announced on Wednesday.
McLachlan said the league will not be releasing the external review detailing allegations of mistreatment of Indigenous players at Hawthorn.
The outgoing boss said the league was now establishing a four-person independent panel to further investigate the allegations included in the report.
Clarkson was last month announced as the new coach of North Melbourne in a five-year-deal reported to be worth $5 million.
The deal means Clarkson will coach through to the end of the 2027 season.
Fagan is contracted at the Lions through to the end of 2023.
In the report, ABC Sport alleges senior staff at Hawthorn demanded the separation of First Nations players from their partners and pressured one player and his partner to terminate a pregnancy for the sake of his career.
The ABC reports other players allege they were made to remove SIM cards from their phones and replace them with new ones in an attempt to cut them off from their partners and make them focus on their football careers.
The most troubling allegation contained in the report centres around one case, detailing how one player claims Clarkson and Fagan were present at a meeting where he was told to get rid of his partner and unborn baby — and then move to live with a member of the club’s staff.
“Clarkson just leaned over me and demanded that I needed to get rid of my unborn child and my partner,” the player said, according to the ABC.
The player went on to say: “He told me to kill my unborn kid.”
Originally published as Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan takes ‘leave of absence’ amid Hawthorn allegations