Buddy Franklin’s girlfriend Jesinta Campell has quashed rumours about her partner’s end to the season.
Speculation is swirling around the footy world as to the reasoning for Franklin’s sidelining, which the Swans say is due to a mental health condition.
On Thursday, Fairfax reported Franklin’s model partner spoke out against the rumours, saying the pair were doing “great”.
“Rumours are rumours for a reason and you’re all reporters so if you actually want to report on anything of substance,” Campbell said at a charity event.
“So let’s stick to promoting things of substance and reporting on things that actually have weight to them.”
Speaking to Fox Footy, AFL chairman Gillon McLachlan said any innuendo was misdirected.
“I think if you’re in close enough in our industry, whether it’s an issue like this with Lance or with so many others, you know what’s real and what’s not,” McLachlan said.
“I feel I have enough information – you don’t know everything and I’m not trying to sound outraged – [but] I feel confident enough that this issue is as described, and please give him the space he needs to deal with it because it’s unbelievably tough.
Swans CEO Andrew Pridham was similarly dismissive of rumours, when speaking to News Corp.
He slammed suggestion Franklin had been caught sleeping with another player’s partner, and had been forced out by the playing group.
“On that specific one, I’m extremely close to the other player, and it’s laughable, absolutely laughable,” Pridham said.
“The player doesn’t even have a partner, by the way, so it would be a neat trick.”
The AFL chairman said the Swans have been genuine in their reasoning.
“I’ve spoken to enough people who’ve had these challenges, and know of it enough, that you just need to be left alone.”
McLachlan said he had been told that Franklin was receiving the support he required.
“My priority is to do everything I can to ensure the person [who] is the target of the rumour or innuendo is OK,” he said.
“I feel I’ve spoken to all the right people around Lance and I feel confident he’s getting the right help and the right support and he’s feeling supported.”