Footy Classified

Senior football writer Caroline Wilson has taken aim at both Carlton and Essendon, criticising both clubs for their practices in past years.

Initially, Wilson took aim at Carlton’s culture of finding “shortcuts” to return to being an AFL powerhouse over the past decade.

Juxtaposing Carlton’s difficulties with the success of Geelong over the past decade (the two clubs who meet at Etihad Stadium tonight), Wilson provocatively asked “who knows whether Carlton are ever going to learn how to win fair?”

“Like Essendon’s spin doctors, who insinuated that other clubs had similarly contentious supplement programs, Carlton were adamant work cover was investigating other clubs for welfare problems in the early 2000s,” Wilson said.

“I believe this is the last resort of the school-kid who has found to be naughty: that of ‘everyone else is doing it’.“

Wilson lambasted Carlton’s strategy of recruiting big-name players and coaches along with the salary cap saga of 2002, in criticising the club.

The awarded sports journalist made the comments while speaking at the “Sport in Victoria” forum’s panel ‘Can You Win Fair – Sports, Drugs, Ethics and Science’.

Wilson then turned her attention to Essendon, where she also defended her perceived antagonistic approach to Essendon in her columns about the club’s supplements scandal over the past two years.

“People have accused me of having a vendetta against Essendon,” Wilson said.

“I will never resile from taking to task this shocking experiment on gullible and trusting young men.”

Wilson also took aim at Essendon for “refusing to abide by any form of judgement on this decision”, which she said was demonstrated by the three day court case earlier this week.

She concluded by returning to the forum’s theme of winning fair, saying people had to believe in fairness in AFL and in sport in general, as well as “the magic, mystique and sheer beautiful competitiveness that is professional sport.”