Port director steps down amid court case

Port Adelaide director Bruce Abernethy has stood down from the AFL club’s coach selection panel while defending a commercial dispute in court.

Abernethy was among a six-man panel charged with finding Port’s next coach.

But he has taken leave of absence from the club “while he concentrates on resolving a commercial dispute that involves a company of which he is a co-owner and director”, Port said in a statement on Saturday.

“Abernethy advised the club that he vigorously denies and will strongly contest allegations made within a statement of claim filed in the Civil Court,” the club said.

The 50-year-old ex-player “voluntarily acted in the best interests of Port Adelaide to avoid any unnecessary media focus on the club”.

Port is expected replace Abernethy on the coaching panel, featuring Peter Schwab, Tom Harley, the club’s chief executive Keith Thomas, board member Kevin Osborn and football operations football Peter Rohde, plus David Parkin, who is acting as an adviser to the panel.

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