Steven Hocking Conflict of Interest

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Meteoric Rise

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I will openly state my agenda here.

At least three Stephen Hocking’s responsibilities in his role as General Manager Football Operations are clearly conflicted by his history and links with the Geelong Football Club.

The first, and most important in my opinion, is his role in directly overseeing rule changes. It is apparent that people at Geelong are in a position to influence his thinking more than people from any other club. Who knows whether they have or not. But there is a clear conflict apparent.

The second, is his role overseeing the umpiring department, where it must be noted the long standing umpire’s advisor Hayden Kennedy recently and suddenly stepped down, from memory, citing “exhaustion.” His boss was Stephen Hocking.

The third, and most instantly topical, and at this point most clearly controversial, is his role as final decision maker in Match Review Officer cases.

I am going to call into question three MRO decisions relating to matches involving Geelong FC, for which Hocking had ultimate direct responsibility. In each case the Geelong player involved was a key player for them.

1 Dangerfield raised forearm severe impact to Vlastuin’s face in the Grand Final, knocking him out. MRO result: No case. IMO should have been tested at the Tribunal as should all raised arm severe impact cases resulting from a voluntary movement by the player in question.

2 Hawkins elbow to May’s face in a tackle resulting in a fractured eye socket so severe impact. MRO result: No case. IMO should have been tested at the Tribunal.

3 Holman’s perfectly executed run down tackle on Duncan. MRO result: Two week suspension. Nothing further needs to be said, everyone knows the Tribunal will overturn this decision that has been universally condemned without exception from what I have seen and heard.

So 3 key players for the Cats, Dangerfield, Hawkins, Duncan. Of the three cases the two waved through were in my opinion unarguably more questionable than the one penalised. In all cases the decision has gone in favour of protecting the key Geelong player.

For anyone unfamiliar with Hocking’s links to Geelong FC….he played his entire 199 game career with Geelong, retiring after the Cat’s third Grand Final loss in 6 seasons in 1994. He later served Geelong FC in several roles as listed below from 2004:


2004-05 match committee chairman.

2006 - returned to Geelong full time as Training Services Manager, responsible for the planning, management and implementation of all training services for the club.

2010 - Assistant General Manager Football Operations to support Neil Balme.

2013 - General Manager of Team Performance.

2014 – General Manager of Commercial Operations.

2015-2017 - General Manager of Football.

He has no known involvement with any other club in the AFL. He was employed in his various roles including as a player by the Geelong FC for 25 years in total between 1984 and 2017. I have heard interviews with both Hocking and Chris Scott saying the two are very close.

It matters not whether Hocking is deliberately or consciously making decisions to favour or protect Geelong FC. It is a clear conflict of interest with some of his direct responsibilities and as such he should have no direct input to decisions in the three areas I have highlighted. There are ways of achieving this without removing him from his role, if that is seen as the best way to handle it.

The AFL needs to tidy this up. Remember, in regard to the MRO decisions, Hocking has the final say. So we know for sure every decision the MRO makes is Hocking’s position, but we have no certain idea if these decisions also reflect MRO Michael Christian’s position….
 
Last edited:

Art Vandelay_

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1 Dangerfield raised forearm severe impact to Vlastuin’s face in the Grand Final, knocking him out. MRO result: No case. IMO should have been tested at the Tribunal as should all raised arm severe impact cases resulting from a voluntary movement by the player in question.

2 Hawkins elbow to May’s face in a tackle resulting in a fractured eye socket so severe impact. MRO result: No case. IMO should have been tested at the Tribunal.

3 Holman’s perfectly executed run down tackle on Duncan. MRO result: Two week suspension. Nothing further needs to be said, everyone knows the Tribunal will overturn this decision that has been universally condemned without exception from what I have seen and heard.
What a laughable thread premise.

1 and 2 were correct decisions by the tribunal.
3 is bullshit and should be overthrown tonight.
 

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Art Vandelay_

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It matters not whether Hocking is deliberately or consciously making decisions to favour or protect Geelong FC.
MOST MATCHES MISSED THROUGH SUSPENSION SINCE 2010
62 Geelong
57 Richmond
56 Hawthorn
53 West Coast
52 St Kilda
51 Essendon
50 Melbourne
46 Fremantle
43 North Melbourne
40 Brisbane, Port Adelaide
36 Carlton
35 Gold Coast
29 Greater Western Sydney
28 Collingwood
26 Western Bulldogs
22 Adelaide
18 Sydney


Did more research than you in 20 seconds. #protected
 

Meteoric Rise

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MOST MATCHES MISSED THROUGH SUSPENSION SINCE 2010
62 Geelong
57 Richmond
56 Hawthorn
53 West Coast
52 St Kilda
51 Essendon
50 Melbourne
46 Fremantle
43 North Melbourne
40 Brisbane, Port Adelaide
36 Carlton
35 Gold Coast
29 Greater Western Sydney
28 Collingwood
26 Western Bulldogs
22 Adelaide
18 Sydney


Did more research than you in 20 seconds. #protected
Apologies again Art but your list is largely irrelevant to the thread premise. Hocking has only been in his role as final decision maker for the MRO since 2018. So 2010 through 2017 are irrelevant to this thread.
 

Meteoric Rise

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They were correct decisions.
They may have been correct decisions or not. In your opinion they were, in my opinion not. But that is not what the thread is about. The decisions were made by Stephen Hocking, who has a conflict of interest. He should not be making decisions about Geelong players due to this conflict of interest. If he is going to get involved then he should have been extra careful to remove any appearance of being conflicted by sending the cases to the tribunal.

Look at Dangerfield, Hawkins v Taryn Thomas, which he did send to the tribunal.
 
Last edited:

Meteoric Rise

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SHocking is just rubbish at his job. His club affiliation isn't a part of that.
How can you know that? That is the whole thing about conflict of interest principles. People with any apparent conflict should be removed from the direct line of decision making and at least be put at arm’s length to the decisions being made that could be conflicted. It does not require proof or even evidence of biased decisions being made for this to be the case.
 

Dazzler9

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How can you know that? That is the whole thing about conflict of interest principles. People with any apparent conflict should be removed from the direct line of decision making and at least be put at arm’s length to the decisions being made that could be conflicted. It does not require proof or even evidence of biased decisions being made for this to be the case.
I would be happy for Hocking to be removed from any direct line of decision making in the AFL.
 

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Meteoric Rise

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Hocking is incredibly incompetent but fu** me it isn’t because he’s Geelong biased 😂
Let me ask you this question then schmutt….is he not a risk to be Geelong biased given his past and present affiliations with the club and its key people? Again, this does not require smoking gun evidence of decisions favouring Geelong FC to be an issue. He should not be making decisions which directly impact on Geelong.

Why wouldn’t you substitute an unconflicted person to act as final decision maker for the MRO in all Geelong related cases including ones involving coming opponents of Geelong? Wouldn’t that be more sound governance, as much to protect Hocking from us Richmond supporters slurring his terrible reputation as anything. 😁
 

Meteoric Rise

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I can't believe you put some much time into this sh*t
Others can, I am getting plenty of oxygen. 😱

However, on a thread about Stephen Hocking’s apparent conflict of interest, it is strange nobody is commenting about the central subject matter, ie his apparent conflict of interest.

So people agree he is conflicted then?
 
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Joao

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I think that not only he is pro-Geelong, he is also clearly anti-Richmond. The least the OP could do would be to spend a lifetime bringing this bloke down.
 

Meteoric Rise

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I presume you will be making a similar post to this in 2024 when Brendon Gale is AFL CEO and Richmond win a game off the back of a contentious free kick?
If he is conflicted in decisions by his affiliations with Richmond then he should be removed from having a direct say in those decisions.

So this might apply to matters like finals venues etc, but the Football Operations Manager is more involved with decisions that have impact on club’s on field prospects as far as I can see.

Where do you stand on conflict of interest in these roles?
 

Meteoric Rise

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I think that not only he is pro-Geelong, he is also clearly anti-Richmond. The least the OP could do would be to spend a lifetime bringing this bloke down.
But he seemed absolutely delighted as evidenced by his forced smile after the Tigers beat his beloved Cats in yet another final last year Joao. 😁

What do you think, is it a case of conflict of interest, or not?
 

Farang83150

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I will openly state my agenda here.

At least three Stephen Hocking’s responsibilities in his role as General Manager Football Operations are clearly conflicted by his history and links with the Geelong Football Club.

The first, and most important in my opinion, is his role in directly overseeing rule changes. It is apparent that people at Geelong are in a position to influence his thinking more than people from any other club. Who knows whether they have or not. But there is a clear conflict apparent.

The second, is his role overseeing the umpiring department, where it must be noted the long standing umpire’s advisor Hayden Kennedy recently and suddenly stepped down, from memory, citing “exhaustion.” His boss was Stephen Hocking.

The third, and most instantly topical, and at this point most clearly controversial, is his role as final decision maker in Match Review Officer cases.

I am going to call into question three MRO decisions relating to matches involving Geelong FC, for which Hocking had ultimate direct responsibility. In each case the Geelong player involved was a key player for them.

1 Dangerfield raised forearm severe impact to Vlastuin’s face in the Grand Final, knocking him out. MRO result: No case. IMO should have been tested at the Tribunal as should all raised arm severe impact cases resulting from a voluntary movement by the player in question.

2 Hawkins elbow to May’s face in a tackle resulting in a fractured eye socket so severe impact. MRO result: No case. IMO should have been tested at the Tribunal.

3 Holman’s perfectly executed run down tackle on Duncan. MRO result: Two week suspension. Nothing further needs to be said, everyone knows the Tribunal will overturn this decision that has been universally condemned without exception from what I have seen and heard.

So 3 key players for the Cats, Dangerfield, Hawkins, Duncan. Of the three cases the two waved through were in my opinion unarguably more questionable than the one penalised. In all cases the decision has gone in favour of protecting the key Geelong player.

For anyone unfamiliar with Hocking’s links to Geelong FC….he played his entire 199 game career with Geelong, retiring after the Cat’s third Grand Final loss in 6 seasons in 1994. He later served Geelong FC in several roles as listed below from 2004:


2004-05 match committee chairman.

2006 - returned to Geelong full time as Training Services Manager, responsible for the planning, management and implementation of all training services for the club.

2010 - Assistant General Manager Football Operations to support Neil Balme.

2013 - General Manager of Team Performance.

2014 – General Manager of Commercial Operations.

2015-2017 - General Manager of Football.

He has no known involvement with any other club in the AFL. He was employed in his various roles including as a player by the Geelong FC for 25 years in total between 1984 and 2017. I have heard interviews with both Hocking and Chris Scott saying the two are very close.

It matters not whether Hocking is deliberately or consciously making decisions to favour or protect Geelong FC. It is a clear conflict of interest with some of his direct responsibilities and as such he should have no direct input to decisions in the three areas I have highlighted. There are ways of achieving this without removing him from his role, if that is seen as the best way to handle it.

The AFL needs to tidy this up. Remember, in regard to the MRO decisions, Hocking has the final say. So we know for sure every decision the MRO makes is Hocking’s position, but we have no certain idea if these decisions also MRO Michael Christian’s position….
Is that you hardwick, found another avenue to get your whinging out there!!
 

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