Sport AFL Thompson denies he refuses to pay fine

Thompson denies he refuses to pay fine

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Essendon coach Mark Thompson denies refusing to pay his $30,000 fine in the Bombers’ supplements scandal.

News Corp reported that the dual premiership coach had written to AFL chief Gillon McLachlan to outline his refusal to front up the cash.

Speaking after Essendon’s two-point AFL upset of Port Adelaide on Saturday, Thompson denied refusing to pay but he did not clarify whether he would hand over the fine before the October deadline.

“I never said I wasn’t going to pay the fine,” he said.

“I don’t have to pay the fine until the 31st of October 2014 – that’s the invoice date – so I haven’t refused to pay.

“I’ll wait and see.”

While still outside the top eight in 10th position, Essendon’s shock victory over the Power keeps them in the hunt for finals action.

The Bombers, who have not lost to Port since 2010, have now won 13 of their last 19 games on the road.

Thompson said an open and honest week on the training track – where the emphasis was on communication – following the narrow loss to Geelong last week was the key factor behind his side toppling the Power at Adelaide Oval.

“Last week was a big wake up call for the squad,” he said.

“This week they’ve been really honest with each other talking about their on-field experiences and opening themselves up to their weaknesses which is vitally important to get anything done otherwise you just avoid.

“It meant something to them losing to Geelong and they’re prepared to do something about it which is a good sign.”

After surrendering top spot last week and having now suffered back-to-back losses following the defeat to the Bombers, Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley rejected claims that the Power are losing focus heading into the business end of the season.

“I don’t think it’s a switch on thing, it’s momentary lapses there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“That’s what happens to every football club, but the very best ones who get to the end have very few of those.

“We’re on the journey. We’ve worked really hard to get where we are and we understand that we’ve got to continuously work hard.”