Bartel: Time to review the match review panel

Former Geelong premiership star Jimmy Bartel has called for an overhaul of the match review panel, declaring on-field reports should be broken into "football and non-football" incidents.

Bartel has quit the panel, citing heavy business interests, but says it's time for the AFL to review the panel's guidelines.

He said his major recommendation would be to ensure acts such as striking were given tougher punishment.

"If you can tilt the system in a way that has greater loading to ... non-football things like striking and those sort of incidents, high contact, compared to football incidents, where you are trying to execute something that is well within the rules of the game, like a tackle, and something goes wrong. Those acts that happen, they can be looked at a little more leniently and that's probably where fines come into play," he said.

"It is a box-ticking exercise and I always felt a little bit uncomfortable with the fact that ... you can spit out a fine but you can also have guys tackling people ... and they can get weeks," he said.

"They're the parameters the MRP have got and they can only really just deal with what they've got. I guess when people get a little bit personal with the MRP, they are only just working with the guidelines they have got ... maybe we need to review the guidelines."

Bartel's decision to step down comes in a year when several of the MRP's decisions have been publicly questioned. This leaves former players Michael Christian, Jason Johnson, Nathan Burke and Michael Jamison on the panel.

The triple-premiership Cat also suggested that players should be able to appeal their suspension without the risk of having to miss more weeks should they lose.

"There should be a system of being able to appeal without getting the risk of more weeks. Whether the AFL comes up with, you are allowed to appeal but you have got to .... put up a certain amount of dollars and if you lose maybe you are penalised for that. We can't have every time the MRP puts something up that every single club will just appeal it straight away (and) there is no repercussion for losing at the tribunal," he said on 3AW.

Bartel said the review needed to assess whether "legal people" were included on the panel and what the right mix should be with former players.

He also opened up about Toby Greene, given a $1500 fine for his boot in the face of Western Bulldog Luke Dahlhaus, and Bulldog Jack Redpath, who could have taken a two-match ban with an early plea but opted to appeal, lost and was slapped with a three-match ban.

Bartel said the Greene case was something "we haven't seen before".

"It was one out of the box, for want of a better term. It was hard to grade and I think misconduct was the right one to put it in but the Redpath thing, people are (questioning he got) three weeks for a jumper shove - he's got priors," he said.

"He did something similar four weeks ago so that's why he got the loading. The simple thing is you should learn from your mistakes.

"The fact is that no two cases are the same. We just go, when I was on there, that we just go through the process. People are always going to make the natural comparison especially when the club they follow, their player gets suspended or gets a fine, they naturally feel aggrieved."

The standard of umpiring has also been a point of debate, and was again raised by Richmond coach Damien Hardwick after the Tigers' loss to Geelong last week. Hardwick suggested the umpires had been influenced by the pro-Cats crowd at Simonds Stadium - a point AFL umpires boss Peter Schwab rejected.

The AFL distributed a memo to clubs leading into this round, warning coaches of the threat of fines should umpiring decisions be publicly questioned.

Swans coach John Longmire refused to be drawn into why captain Josh Kennedy had gone to the umpires at three quarter-time against the Adelaide Crows on Friday night. Kennedy had approached the umpires at the request of football manager Tom Harley.

"I think Tom had a chat to Josh, you are quite entitled to do that," Longmire said.

Asked what had been the issue, he replied: "What was the issue? ... that's been made really clear by the AFL, they wrote to all the clubs during the week, we can't say anything about them. I won't say anything about them today. I can't say anything ... I am not willing to go there."

Longmire said it was too early to declare whether the Swans would make contact with the AFL's umpiring department this week.

"It was very clear during the week that if we say anything (public) about the umpires, there is the threat of the fine, so I won't say anything," he said.

The story Bartel: Time to review the match review panel first appeared on Brisbane Times.

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