New details have been revealed about how a Melbourne football club was “nearly killed” after footage of a shocking sex act between players went viral.
The Glen Waverley Football Club was disgraced back in August this year when two players were filmed performing a lewd public sex act during their Mad Monday celebrations.
The video, which appeared to have been filmed in a public bar in front of teammates, showed one player exposing his genitals before another man performed a sex act on him as people cheered in the background.
The club released a statement in the wake of the video going viral saying it was “extremely saddened” by the situation, branding it a “serious breach” of the club’s culture and values.
Now, Glen Waverley Hawks president Matt Hollard has revealed what really went on behind the scenes in the wake of the incident and how the club almost didn’t survive the fallout.
The act was then filmed by one of the players, who sent it to a friend, who then uploaded it to a Mad Monday Facebook page.
The post was quickly taken down, but by then it was already too late and the video was beginning to circulate across the internet.
Mr Hollard also provided fresh insight into just how rowdy the Mad Monday celebrations had become, revealing he received a call from the management at Mountain View Hotel where the celebrations were taking place.
It was previously reported that the players were seen smashing glasses and trying to grab wine from behind the bar.
The players were also accused of becoming abusive to other people at the club.
The club president told the Herald Sun the hotel management told him he needed to deal with the issue or they would call the police.
Mr Holland said that after the footage of the sex act went viral, the club was left with no choice but to address the issue publicly.
“We were left in a position of what do we do?” Mr Hollard said.
“We have to defend the football club here, potentially the players as well, so we put out a media statement.”
Along with expressing disappointment in the behaviour of the players, the club also revealed it was offering professional counselling to those involved.
“An independent professionally facilitated program was initiated to focus on both the immediate impacts on the broader group, as well as establishing clear expectations and values upon which to move forward,” the statement read.
But it wasn’t just backlash from the public and sponsors that Mr Hollard was having to deal with, it was backlash from the players and their families as well.
Captain Mitch Potts — who had nothing to do with the video — accused the club of not looking after his mental health and led a walk-out of the senior players following an emergency meeting with the club and sponsors.
Mr Holland said everything started “unravelling” when major sponsors began pulling out and parents began removing their children from the junior programs.
Players also began posting about the incident on social media and letters which contained “virtually death threats” were being sent to the committee.
But what would have been the nail in the coffin for the club came when the City of Monash sent a letter noting it could withdraw the use of the club’s facility if it was in breach of clauses in the contract relating to inappropriate behaviour.
“Council seeks to understand what action the club will take to ensure that club behaviours align with Council policy to ensure eligibility for future use of Council facilities,” the letter said.
The club’s base, Central Reserve, is regarded as a “premier ground”, which meant it was eligible to host junior and senior finals.
Mr Holland said if the club was not able to host those finals then it “wouldn’t survive”, with the sales from food and alcohol keeping the club alive.
The club then received another notice from the Council informing them that they would be moved from Central reserve and have their liquor licence suspended.
It was essentially a death sentence for the club, but the mayor and other councillors rallied behind the club and convinced the council to allow the club to remain at their current ground.
“We have been on the back foot for so long, putting out fires and having no control of the situation,” he said.
“That video nearly killed us but we can now say we’re about to launch into a new era with a new culture,” Mr Holland said.
The Hawks lost around 30 players in the wake of the scandal and will now play in Division 4 after just three wins this season.