The Wayne Carey story really does have it all with enormous ramifications that we can only just being to grapple with here.
Eddie McGuire, one of the great media playboys in his younger days, demonstrated on Thursday that he is the most powerful man in football as proceedings revolved very much around him.
Jon Faine had Eddie on 774 ABC at 8.35am and he was spinning the lines that any good promoter would who has paid a truckload for the rights to a product. Eddie had already spoken to Carey’s manager Ricky Nixon and was dumping all over The Age story about the players voting Carey out.
Rather than condemning Carey and pointing to how disastrous this will prove to be for North Melbourne, Eddie was playing it all down, stressing adultery was very common and pointing to how the club would save $750,000 a year in salary costs and would galvanise together. This will not prove correct as it looks like Carey will still get paid about two-thirds of his annual salary for doing nothing.
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Eddie then spent much of the day preparing for Thursday night’s edition of The Footy Show which rated its socks off with 700,000 Melburnians tuning in. Eddie’s number one asset is his massive network and once again he managed to pull the major protagonists onto the program – you had Kangaroos President Allan Aylett, Ricky Nixon and mealy mouthed North Melbourne full back Mick Martyn
Carey is contracted to Channel Nine and in normal circumstances could have found himself sitting with James Hird, Nathan Buckley and Shane Crawford on the player’s panel.
Sam Newman made a complete fool of himself and it took Eddie and Trevor Marmalade a couple of minutes to get over his appalling opening gag about Carey flying to Los Angeles so sign a multi-million contract with a toilet cleaning product Toilet Duck. This referred to the story doing the rounds about Carey and Kelli Stevens being caught together in the toilet on Sunday night at Glenn Archer’s place in Warrandyte. A subscriber has emailed to point out that Newman’s appalling gag was a little bit witty because Carey’s nickname down at the club is actually “Duck”.
Mick Martyn and Aylett both gave Sam short shrift with the beefy full-back at one point retorting: “That’s a dickhead question from a dickhead person”.
Sam is probably the worst womaniser to come out of the AFL and he was quick to try and blame Kellie Stevens for the affair.
Sam Newman’s brazen pick-up lines
Crikey has one old girlfriend and one old flatmate who were both wooed by an extremely brazen Newman a few years back.
The routine he runs is to simply take off all his clothes and present himself once inside the victim’s house. When rejected he comes out with appalling lines such as: “You don’t have to do anything” and “just lie there”.
Let’s hope he did better than this when dating Natasha stott Despoja a couple of years back and that Naomi Robson also got some classier treatment when she was Sam’s celebrity date at Eddie Everywhere’s engagement party four years back.
Sam was quoted on The World Today on Thursday saying that well-paid football stars can afford better drugs and attract better women and that there is absolutely nothing special about sleeping with someone’s spouse.
The guy really is a goose and should not be granted such celebrity status by Channel Nine.
Carey trying to fight back
The Carey spin machine has been working hard for the past week. Herald Sun reporter Mark Robinson, a terrific fellow and legendary sports journalist, bought the Carey line about it being his decision to resign from the club and was rewarded with Friday’s exclusive interview.
The Hun got an early colour copy of the front page down to their Saturday columnist Eddie McGuire who plugged the bejeezers out of it and read out all the front page Carey quotes on The Footy Show at 10pm. No real need to buy the paper after watching that but it probably added about 30,000-40,000 to sales on Friday which wouild have pleased the Hun’s thin-skinned editor Peter Blunden no end. So far the official AFL newspaper, the Herald Sun, and the official lead broadcaster, Channel Nine, are both profiting from the yarn nicely through higher ratings and sales.
And given that both have contracts with Carey they are naturally getting the inside run when it comes to access and interviews but you can mount an argument that both are being way too soft on their commercially engaged subject.
Ricky Nixon’s spindoctoring
Ricky Nixon gave The Age a fearful belting for its coverage and Eddie did not disclose that he’s just settled a defamation action against The Age for calling him a “hopelessly conflicted tabloid muckraker”. He used Geoff Brown, who is both the AFL’s lawyer and Eddie’s manager, and expensive QCs to sue The Age but it settled at around the time Kerry Packer was going berserk at Richard Carleton for damaging Channel Nine in his defamation action in the ACT Supreme Court against Media Watch.
Nixon revealed that Carey has now left Melbourne for Wagga and is with his family (not including wife Sally) but also on suicide watch as the devastation really set in yesterday afternoon. The Herald Sun interview was basically a major mea culpa and a huge pitch to wife Sally to save the marriage.
What would happened if the victims filed for divorce?
Mrs Crikey is a family law barrister and is of the view that Sally Carey, who is said to be from a lovely Wagga family and is a good accountant with PWC, would only get back what she put into the marriage if she filed for divorce because they don’t have any children and only married 12 months ago. However, if they lived in a defacto relationship for the past 9 years during their courtship and she made home maker contributions, she could be entitled to say approximately 30% or $1.5 million of his estimated $5 million net worth.
Crikey reckons Sally should go for it because if Wayne is even prepared to shaft his best mate then he’s not trustworthy.
Contrast that with Kelli Stevens who would do far better in divorce proceedings because they have a baby. She would automatically get 18 per cent of his gross earnings in child support. The Family Court does not apportion fault so the decision by Kellie Stevens and Wayne Carey to have an affair would have absolutely no bearing on any judgments. Depending on how long they were living together as husband and wife, she could receive from 30% to 60% of her husband’s assets which would probably exceed $1 million. (Being a typical lawyer, Mrs Crikey’s views were couched in terms of “this is all speculative, I don’t know the all the facts” and she made me promise I wouldn’t put it on the site. Lucky she doesn’t read it.)
Carey spoke to Eddie from Wagga Wagga off-air shortly before The Footy Show started – again demonstrating the amazing network and pulling power that Eddie has built up over the years.
And with the Roos not ruling out a return and Carey doing a massive mea culpa along with a pitch to his wife, Crikey reckons the return of Carey to Arden Street is a better prospect than many people realise.
MORE PROOF THAT WE’RE OBSESSED WITH SPORT
If you want any more evidence about our obsession with sport, check out this AAP yarn yesterday:
March 14 AAP – There was no alternative but for Kangaroos captain Wayne Carey to leave the club, the team’s number-one ticket-holder said today.
Federal Opposition Leader Simon Crean said Carey was the greatest AFL player he had ever seen. But that was not enough to save him from the fallout of his alleged affair with the wife of Kangaroos vice-captain and friend Anthony Stevens.
“I mean this is a very high price that he has paid and you can see the price being cashed out, a huge price,” he told ABC television.
“I think it’s an example in itself that even with players at their peak, even with indispensables, they can’t bend the rules.
“It is a tragedy all around.”
Mr Crean said the club’s management had faced up to the issue, making what would have been its most difficult decision.
He said he believed the Kangaroos would be a force this year, even without Carey.
Mr Crean said he hoped there could be a reconciliation within the club, and by Carey with his friends and family.
“I think all of these things can have some healing associated with it,” he said. “I hope there can be that healing out of this, but it’s going to take a lot of work.”
Mr Crean said the issue had been a distraction to his own work, but the club had not contacted him about the issue.
“They would have had difficulty getting through on the phone,” he said.
“I mean, we have been trying to get John Howard to sack a parliamentary secretary, dismiss a governor-general, discipline (Peter) Reith and (Michael) Wooldridge.
“They are all there, and poor old Wayne is gone.”
Now, this is what we sent subscribers on Thursday after the story broke:
WAYNE CAREY’S INDISCRETION
What is it about sporting legends from Wagga Wagga? First we had Michael Slater dropped from the test team after an indiscretion in his personal life that led to the break-up of his marriage and now the best AFL player of the past 10 years, Kangaroos captain Wayne Carey, has been reportedly voted out of North Melbourne in disgrace by his team-mates for having an affair with the wife of vice-captain Anthony Stevens.
The Age’s Caroline Wilson is the best football journalist when it comes to scandals and she’s on the money again with this yarn in Thursday’s paper.
Carey’s judgment is simply appalling. He is the guy who gave character evidence for Melbourne criminal identity Jason Moran in early 2000 and Moran is the man who the Victorian Coroner recently found was at the murder scene when gangster Alphonse Gangitano was gunned down in his Templestowe home.
Here are a few relevant paragraphs from a Herald Sun story on January 18 last year:
“A REFERENCE from champion Melbourne footballer David Schwarz has helped a man with underworld links to escape jail.
The Melbourne Football Club vice-captain’s glowing words yesterday helped convince magistrate Jenny Bowles to suspend a jail sentence for Darren William Harland.
Harland, 30, faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court after he was caught with a loaded gun while visiting a gangster friend at Fulham prison, in eastern Victoria, last year.
He was visiting Jason Matthew Moran, an associate of slain gangster Alphonse Gangitano and half-brother of gangland murder victim Mark Moran.
Kangaroos star Wayne Carey gave character evidence for Jason Moran during his County Court trial last year.”
Obviously we’re not suggesting Carey is a criminal but he’s certainly a philanderer who should be more careful about who he associates with.
When you also consider this front page story in The Age yesterday about two West Coast Eagles players, Ben Cousins and Michael Gardiner, socialising with a convicted heroin trafficker, you start to worry that things are running off the rails for all these young footy legends earning more than $100,000 a year. Is the AFL about to go through the horror period that rugby league did when it’s players suddenly found themselves with too much money:
It will be interesting to see how News Ltd, Foxtel, Nine and Ten handle the scandals because they’ve paid a lot of money to promote the AFL. If Dale Lewis’s claims that 75 per cent of players use recreational drugs are correct, we could be about to see a scandal-filled year.
Interestingly, Carey hates the Herald Sun with a passion for splashing the headline “Carey in sex attack” back in 1996 after he left a King Street nightclub at 6am and grabbed a passerby fleetingly on the breast and said: “Why don’t you get a bigger set of t*ts.”
And only in Melbourne could you get this answer from a North Melbourne supporter to a vox pop question on 3AW after Carey’s resignation: “I can’t believe it….Sept.11th.last year …and now this!”