Adelaide Crows chairman says class action over controversial camp remains ‘hypothetical’

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Adelaide Crows chairman John Olsen says the club has not sought legal advice despite talk of a class action in the wake of Eddie Betts’ claims about a controversial 2018 training camp.

Mr Olsen described any such move against the club as “hypothetical”, and also defended the way the club had responded in the seven days since the publication of Betts’ memoir The Boy from Boomerang Crescent.

The book details Betts’ anxiety and anger following the preseason camp, and prompted former Crow Josh Jenkins to speak out as well.

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Adelaide lawyer Greg Griffin said he had begun investigating a potential class action against the club, on behalf of several players who attended the camp. 

“Any action would be brought in the Supreme Court of Victoria, which requires a minimum of seven group members to bring and maintain a class action,” he said.

“The number of persons, or players, is well in excess of the number that we require.”

But Mr Olsen, who earlier this week issued a public apology to Betts and Jenkins, told ABC Radio Adelaide such a development would be addressed if and when it arose.

“It is hypothetical, because until it takes place it’s not fact, and if it takes place, we’ll address the issue at that time,” he said.

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Adelaide Crows chairman John Olsen speaks to ABC Radio Adelaide’s Stacey Lee and Nikolai Beilharz.

Mr Olsen said he had spoken to all the club’s board members in the past week, but issues for discussion did not include the position of board member Mark Ricciuto who, on his Triple M breakfast show last week, said “the club has moved on from” the camp.

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“Mark’s position at the board was not discussed at the meeting over the weekend. That’s not on my agenda at the moment,” Mr Olsen said.

Mr Olsen joined the club in 2020, two years after the now infamous camp.

Denials of a ‘cover-up’

The former SA premier denied the club had sought to conceal the controversy at the time, and said player welfare was the current “priority”.

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“I think that’s a stretch to say there was a cover-up. People were dealing with a difficult situation,” he said.

“A number of individuals indicated to me they had a very positive experience at the camp.

“[But receiving] confidential information given by a player, and that being used in front of others at the camp, is inexcusable.

“Those circumstances cannot, and will not, happen again.”

Eddie Betts salutes the crowd.
A crowd favourite during his time at Adelaide, Betts returned to Carlton at the end of the 2019 season.(AAP: David Mariuz)

Since the publication of Betts’ book, Mr Olsen has confined himself to individual interviews and statements, rather than holding a media conference — an approach he defended.

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“I have made myself available across the board, to radio, print and television,” he said.

“Shortly after Eddie Betts’s book had been released, and his comments related to chapter 17, [chief executive] Tim Silvers was immediately available on that Wednesday and immediately apologised.”



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