Mansfield says it won't appeal contract decision on James Lawton and Brent Rose

Corowa-Rutherglen's James Lawton (on the mark) appears set to miss the season over a contract dispute.
Corowa-Rutherglen's James Lawton (on the mark) appears set to miss the season over a contract dispute.

A next to no chance of victory was behind Mansfield’s decision not to appeal the contract dispute of disgruntled Corowa-Rutherglen pair James Lawton and Brent Rose.

The Goulburn Valley club elected not to take the risk of blowing the $11,000 it would have cost to take the matter further to AFL Victoria.

“We’ve been told an appeal would be a waste of time, so we agreed we weren’t going to go to appeal and the boys agreed to that,” Mansfield president Dennis Sheahan said.

Governing body AFL North East Border decided last Thursday the duo’s contracts to the Roos were valid for this season.

Sheahan originally suggested the club would appeal.

We’ve been told an appeal would be a waste of time, so we agreed we weren’t going to go to appeal.

Dennis Sheahan

Under the game’s national regulations, there’s only three reasons a transfer can be refused.

The first is a valid contract, along with owing club money and owing club property.

There’s been only one instance where an appeal was upheld, despite a valid contract.

To highlight how difficult it is, Mansfield had contacted leading AFL advocate Iain Findlay over the case, but elected not to use him.

Mansfield tried to find a solution by travelling to Corowa on Sunday.

Lawton and Rose, along with their fathers, spoke with Roos’ president Graham Hosier, coach Marc Almond and stalwart Darrell Spencer.

“They spoke for a while. but they weren’t going to change their mind on it, but they gave them a reasonable hearing,” Sheahan said.

Sheahan then spoke to the trio at the Roos’ John Foord Oval, but the club remained steadfast.

“What they’re saying is they’ve got to change the culture so players aren’t breaking contracts and leaving them and I can understand that,” he said.

“I think they’re a little bit the scapegoats, the club’s decided it’s got to make a stand and those two are going to have to pay the penalty for it.”

The Roos weren’t prepared to comment, at this stage.