The family of former Western Bulldogs defender Michael Talia has hit out at the club, saying they will end their 88-year association with the AFL side.
Talia was cleared of leaking sensitive information to his brother Daniel, who plays for Adelaide, by the AFL integrity unit after the Bulldogs asked the league to investigate.
Talia’s grandfather Harvey Stevens played 72 games for Footscray between 1953 and 1957, winning their only premiership in 1954, while his great-grandfather Arthur also played 64 games for them between 1927 and 1932.
However that chapter in their family history is now over according to Talia’s grandmother, Elva Stevens.
“That kid was a Bulldogs supporter from the time he could sit up he had a Bulldogs jumper on,” Stevens told News Corp Australia.
“He loved the Bulldogs.
“We’ll never have anything to do with them again not under the present regime.”
Talia did not play in the elimination-final clash against Adelaide where he was accused of leaking team tactics in the lead up, however Stevens maintains she overheard the apparent exchange and believes there was no malice involved.
“It was absolute rot this business that he gave the game plan away,” she said.
“As he said to the league, he was hoping to get a game the next week and was barracking for the Bulldogs.
“All he said to his brother was on the phone because my daughter heard it was: `(Jake) Stringer will kill you tonight, you’re as slow as a wet week.’ That’s all that was said.”
The conversation inadvertently made its way back to the Bulldogs through Adelaide defender Kyle Cheney, who received an official warning from the AFL.
The Adelaide Crows say they have no plans for Cheney to speak publicly about the incident, while Talia has since moved to the Sydney Swans.