AFL club Carlton intends to lodge a complaint with police after its recruitment strategy for the national women’s league was allegedly published.
The Blues released a statement on Sunday, outlining their concerns after a website posted what it claimed to be Carlton’s recruitment plans for the inaugural NWL season.
“Carlton Football Club is currently conducting an investigation with a view to lodging a complaint with Victoria Police to ensure those responsible for the theft of the club’s IP with respect to recruiting and its women’s team are prosecuted,” the Blues said in a statement on Sunday.
“Those who subsequently promulgate this sensitive information may also be subject to action.”
The saga came a day after Whitten Oval hosted a women’s exhibition match that attracted a crowd of 6,365 and peak TV ratings of 1.05 million.
Those numbers exceeded the league’s expectations.
“We feel both excited and humbled by the support of the community for the women’s game,” AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said.
“These are massive TV numbers and beyond our expectations. It is thrilling for the AFL and our women players.
“As I told the players in the rooms after the match, they should be immensely proud of how they have contributed to the development of women’s football.”
The league will launch an eight-team women’s competition in February 2017, with the season to last eight weeks.
The AFL and AFL Players’ Association are still negotiating the standard playing contract, with AFLPA chief Paul Marsh recently saying “we are some distance apart”.
Many pundits have criticised the league for forcing female players to pay for their own health insurance.
“We haven’t settled on the salaries yet,” AFL’s general manager of game and development Simon Lethlean said on Sunday.
“We want this to be a fully professional league. Next year it’s part time and eight matches but our job is to make this professional for the women as fast we can.”
Moana Hope, who booted six goals on Saturday night and has already joined Collingwood as a marquee signing, insisted players weren’t talking about wages.
“I’m just blessed to pull on an AFL jersey,” Hope said.
“The pay is exciting but right now I get to play AFL. There are generations of girls coming through who are going to be able to fulfil their dreams and in years to come I’m sure that (pay) will be addressed.
“When we are around each other all we are talking about is football (not pay).”