Malthouse: I owe no apology over AFL issue

Sacked Carlton coach Mick Malthouse is adamant he owes no-one an apology for the comments about Eddie Betts’ move that sparked an AFL investigation.

The league has cleared Adelaide after Malthouse said the Crows had stitched up Eddie Betts 18 months before he left the Blues for the Crows.

Malthouse made the comments on Tuesday morning in the provocative SEN radio interview that led directly to his sacking later that day.

The AFL spoke to Malthouse and several others before declaring on Thursday that no rules were broken when the Crows recruited Betts as a restricted free agent.

Malthouse became testy when asked repeatedly about the issue on Friday in a regular segment with Adelaide radio station 5AA.

“Of course I don’t need to speak to Eddie – not at all,” Malthouse said.

“I’m not going to be a guilty party in this.

“If I thought I was guilty in any aspect, I would be the first one to say `no, I got it wrong’.

“I don’t think I owe apologies to anyone, but I made sure that the AFL knew quite frankly there was no mischief intended.”

On Tuesday, Malthouse said that after Steven Trigg moved from Adelaide to Carlton, the chief executive told a club meeting that the Crows stitched up Betts well before he moved.

But in an extensive interview with Fox Sports on Thursday, Malthouse insisted that was a general comment about Adelaide’s recruiting methods.

Malthouse added that he had told the AFL that in his opinion, Trigg did nothing wrong.

In Friday’s radio segment, Malthouse said the media had seized on the use of the term “stitched up”.

“I will stand by the fact that I’m sure everyone who was at that meeting felt better when Steven finished by saying `well, don’t worry about it because these things happen a long way out’,” he said.

“The word `stitched’ … it doesn’t matter.

“The fact is, we came away thinking `it’s not our fault’, because Adelaide did their homework and got their man and as far as I’m concerned, legally got their man.

“I said that at the time, but no, no – you only get listened to certain parts of it … they pluck out something like that.”

Malthouse added he knew well before Betts left Carlton that the Blues would lose him.

After having dinner with Betts, Malthouse said he told other club officials that the forward would not stay.

“His mind was gone – his mind was in Adelaide, make no mistake,” Malthouse said.

“As the media pressure mounted up, his game deteriorated.

“I’ve never seen anyone get better under media scrutiny … you carry so much weight on his shoulders.”

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