Richmond has confirmed triple Premier League coach Damien Hardwick is in a relationship with a younger employee.
But the Tigers say there is no problem with the matter given the reports of tension within the club.
Hardwick, 48, recently separated from his wife Danielle, the mother of their three children, Ben, Isabella and Imogen.
The relationship shared high-level figures in Richmond, News Corp reports. , with debates about whether this is appropriate.
« The club is aware that manager Damien Hardwick is currently in a relationship with a member of the club’s administrative staff, » the Tigers said.
« The club has no concerns about this under club policy. In addition, it is a private matter and we ask that you respect your privacy. ”
Previously at AFL, two executives – Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss – resigned due to inappropriate relationships with younger employees.
Hardwick and his new partner spent time in Queensland after the woman quarantined and bonded with him on the Gold Coast during the AFL season.
Danielle, Isabella and Imogen had joined Hardwick at the center of the club before returning home later in the season.
The trio without Hardwick spent Christmas morning with Tiger’s Captain Trent Cotchin and his family in Melbourne.
“What a special Christmas morning. Our hearts are full. I love you, Cotchin, ”wrote Danielle on Instagram.
Hardwick often mentioned « Mrs. Hardwick » to his players and in his media appearances, even during his speech after Richmond won the 2017 Grand Final.
He attributed the decision to play debutante Marlion Pickett in the 2019 Grand Final.
« She was a great supporter of mine and behind every man there is a great woman and I am very happy, » he said after the win.
Hardwick won’t be returning to training in Richmond until next month after his success in the grand finale was rewarded with an extended break.
« It got pretty busy in three to four years and we’ve done a hell of a job and had a lot of success along the way, but sometimes you have to step back, » he told 3AW in late October.
« I’m very happy to have some great assistants and some of these people will keep going, but the coaching group and the people I have around me are doing a lot of work and the reality is I’ll put you on the top and manage the guys. ”
Damien Hardwick, Richmond Football Club, Australian Football League, Trent Cotchin, Geelong Football Club
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