Ex-AFL player suggests rejig of Brownlow Medal voting following betting scandal

Former Carlton and Brisbane player Brendan Fevola believes the AFL should consider looking at other means of deciding the Brownlow Medal amid the recent betting scandal.

The prestigious award was brought into disrepute following the arrest of four men, including an AFL umpire.

Field umpire Michael Pell has reportedly been arrested in relation to allegations he engaged in misconduct that could corrupt betting outcomes.

It has been reported that Pell leaked confidential information to the other men to assist with placing bets.

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The penalty if found guilty is up to 10 years imprisonment.

Fevola believes that umpires shouldn’t be in charge of determining who takes the AFL’s highest individual honour.

“I don’t think they (umpires) should be able to vote on it,” Fevola said on Melbourne radio channel FoxFM.

“They shouldn’t be able to vote on it because they have enough to worry about throughout the game then worry about after the game to see who played well because sometimes they don’t see it all because there’s three different umpires.”

Fevola did offer a solution going forward and thinks both coaches are more than equipped to hand down the votes of each home-and-away game.

“It should be up to the coaches from each team,” Fevola claimed.

“They give 10 votes to a player who is best on ground, which could be from either side. They (coaches) do it properly.”

At the moment, the AFL Coaches Association hands down votes from both coaches on game day on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, meaning a player can receive a maximum of 10 votes.

Dayne Zorko is also an advocate for a change in how the Brownlow Medal is decided.

Speaking on SEN, Zorko felt that the umpires are not the right party to ultimately choose who the winner is, especially given the last 24 hours.

“I don’t know how the information gets out or who or what is involved, but it’s not a great look,” Zorko said.

“The social media stuff that I’ve been reading and sifting through is they’re saying this is another reason why umpires shouldn’t have to vote straight after the game. Leave it up to an expert panel to decide, don’t leave it up to the umpires and take that responsibility off them.

“I agree, I’d give it (Brownlow voting) to someone who has been watching the game and sitting up high and understands what’s happened throughout the whole game and decide from there.”

Collingwood player Mason Cox and former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas also shared their opinions on a potential change.

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How is the Brownlow Medal decided?

The Brownlow Medal is conducted by field umpires immediately after every home-and-away match throughout the season.

On a 3-2-1 basis, the umpires decide who is the best three players on the day, with three being the maximum votes a player can receive per game.

However, a player is ineligible for the award if they have been suspended throughout the season.

On three occasions, players have been deemed the best player of the year but were unable to receive the award.

  • 1996 – Corey McKernan received the same number of votes as James Hird and Michael Voss but was suspended earlier in the season.
  • 1997 – Chris Grant ironically polled the most votes on Brownlow night but was suspended for striking in the year, meaning Robert Harvey won.
  • 2012 – Jobe Watson was awarded with the medal but unfortunately was found to be involved in the Essendon Drug Saga and was stripped of the honour. Trent Cotchin and Sam Mitchell agreed to be joint-winners.

List of previous winners

Year Club Name Votes
2022 Carlton Patrick Cripps 29
2021 Port Adelaide Ollie Wines 36
2020 Brisbane Lachie Neale 21
2019 Fremantle Nat Fyfe 33
2018 Hawthorn Tom Mitchell 28
2017 Richmond  Dustin Martin 36
2016 Geelong Patrick Dangerfield 35
2015 Fremantle Nat Fyfe 31
2014 West Coast Matt Priddis 26
2013 Gold Coast Gary Ablett Jnr 28
2012 Richmond/Hawthorn Trent Cotchin/Sam Mitchell 26
2011 Collingwood Dane Swan 34
2010 Carlton Chris Judd 30
2009 Geelong Gary Ablett Jnr 30
2008 Western Bulldogs Adam Cooney 24
2007 Geelong Jimmy Bartel 29
2006 Sydney Adam Goodes 26
2005 West Coast Ben Cousins 20
2004 West Coast Chris Judd 30
2003 Collingwood/Sydney/Adelaide Nathan Buckley/Adam Goodes/ Mark Ricciuto 22
2002 Brisbane Simon Black 25
2001 Brisbane Jason Akermanis 23
2000 Melbourne Shane Woewodin 24
1999 Hawthorn Shane Crawford 28
1998 St Kilda Robert Harvey 32
1997 St Kilda Robert Harvey 26
1996 Essendon/Brisbane James Hird/ Michael Voss 21
1995 Sydney Paul Kelly 21
1994 Carlton Greg Williams 30
1993 Essendon Gavin Wanganeen 18
1992 Footscray Scott Wynd 20
1991 Melbourne Jim Stynes 25
1990 Western Bulldogs Tony Liberatore 18

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Multiple Brownlow Medal winners

Club Name Medals
Fitzroy Haydn Bunton 3
Essendon Dick Reynolds 3
South Melbourne Bob Skilton 3
St Kilda/Richmond Ian Stewart 3
Fremantle Nat Fyfe 2
Geelong Gary Ablett Jnr 2
West Coast/Carlton Chris Judd 2
Sydney Adam Goodes 2
St Kilda Robert Harvey 2
Sydney/Carlton Greg Williams 2
North Melbourne Keith Greig 2
Essendon Bill Hutchinson 2

 Brownlow Medal joint winners

Year Club Player Votes
2012 Richmond/Hawthorn Trent Cotchin/Sam Mitchell 26
2003 Collingwood/Sydney/Adelaide Nathan Buckley/Adam Goodes/Mark Ricciuto 22
1996 Brisbane/Essendon Michael Voss/James Hird 21
1987 St Kilda/Hawthorn Tony Lockett/John Platten 20
1986 Hawthorn/Sydney Robert DiPierdomenico/Greg Williams 17
1981 Fitzroy/South Melbourne Bernie Quinlan/Barry Round 22
1965 St Kilda/North Melbourne Ian Stewart/Noel Teasdale 20
1959 South Melbourne/St Kilda Bob Skilton/Verdun Howell 20
1952 Richmond/Essendon Roy Wright/Bill Hutchison 21
1949 South Melbourne/Hawthorn Ron Clegg/Col Austen 23

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