Pundits have called out a “bad look” for the AFLW boss as her priorities come under question while players are desperate for answers.
The decision of AFLW boss Nicole Livingstone to commentate at an upcoming swimming meet while mystery surrounds details of the new footy season has come under fire.
The Herald Sun reported Livingstone — a three-time Olympian — will commentate the Australian Swimming Championships later this month.
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That move has caused angst because there are plans for the start of the next AFLW season to be brought forward to August, after last season only finished in April. Players have complained because they still haven’t been given details of exact dates around the new season, left in the dark about how to arrange their schedules to ensure they will be available.
In addition to working out the fixture, Livingstone and her team also need to sort out a new collective bargaining agreement with the AFLPA and introduce four new expansion teams into the competition.
Broadcaster Andy Maher said it was a “bad look” for Livingstone to be commentating the swimming with so many issues surrounding the AFLW.
“If Nic nicks over to Adelaide to do the swimming commentary and there’s no CBA, there’s no start date, there’s no update on any of the key issues in front of the entire AFLW community and Nicole Livingstone is seen to be getting on with her stuff outside of it … I can see (why it doesn’t look good),” Maher told SEN’s The Run Home.
“I think it is a tough sell and it is a bad look and I think everybody in the AFLW community would agree with that.
“She’s the boss. She’s the head of women’s footy in the AFL and there are a lot of people desperate for key information.
“So it is a bad look and I think she’s been around long enough to know that. She knows how these things play out.”
Melbourne legend Garry Lyon was also critical, saying someone should tell her not to commentate at the swimming.
“We would tear (AFL CEO) Gillon McLachlan to shreds if he was off commentating on the polo,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast. “The competition has got no start date.
“I read it today and thought, ‘That’s not a great look at all’.
“She is the CEO of the AFLW competition which is in a period of rapid growth and entering its most delicate situation. I don’t think the boss of that situation should be off moonlighting.”
Collingwood co-captain Steph Chiocci was critical on Twitter of the uncertainty over the new season while fellow Magpie Sarah Rowe said last month: “Please @aflwomens give us the pre season start dates so we can plan our lives.”