Jimmy Bartel's parting shot at AFL's Match Review Panel

Former Geelong star Jimmy Bartel has quit the AFL's Match Review Panel.
Former Geelong star Jimmy Bartel has quit the AFL's Match Review Panel. Mal Fairclough

GEELONG great Jimmy Bartel has delivered a stinging critique of the Match Review Panel's guidelines just hours after he officially stepped down from the panel.

Bartel conceded he always felt "a little bit uncomfortable" regarding the matrix he and his fellow committee members were forced to abide by and offered a solution to the confusion that has become a weekly ritual.

"I think if you can tilt the system in a way that has greater loading for non-football things like striking and those sort of incidents, compared to football incidents," Bartel told 3AW radio on Friday night.

"Those actions (like a tackle that goes wrong) do happen and they can be looked at a little bit more leniently. That's probably where your fines come into play.

"I like the idea that if you concuss someone in a tackle you receive a fine, if you do it a second time the fine increases and if you do it a third time then maybe you need to sit out a week."

Bartel flagged the fact he may step away from the MRP in July due to work commitments away from football, but there is little doubt the rigidness of what is now a "box ticking" exercise began to wear then with the former Cat the longer the season progressed.

"There are many ways you can do it but I think what everyone is coming to is that the system needs reviewing and then you can address what people you need," he said.

"Whether that is legal-minded people or ex-players. First you need to get the parameters or the matrix where everyone is comfortable.

"Never will there be everyone happy with the decision."

The best example of that very point is the most recent one, with Toby Greene's "karate kick" on Luke Dahlhaus splitting the football world.

Ultimately the GWS forward accepted a $1500 fine for "misconduct", a classification Bartel agreed with.

"It is something that we've never seen before so I think that everyone can agree that it was one out of the box and hard to grade," he said.

"Misconduct was the right one to put it in."

The other controversial case following round 21 was Jack Redpath's. The Bulldog big man could accept a two-week ban for striking GWS defender Phil Davis but instead elected to challenge the system and ended up copping a three-match penalty after a short and unsuccessful visit to the tribunal.

Despite understanding the criticism, Bartel backed the MRP's stance on Redpath.

"Redpath did something similar four weeks ago and that's why he got the loading," he said.

"The simple thing is you should learn from your mistakes. There should be a different system where you can appeal without the risk of getting more weeks.

"Whether the AFL comes up with a new system where there is a financial sanction where you have to put up a certain amount of dollars. If you lose, you'll be penalised with that.

"We can't have something whereby every time the MRP puts something up, every single club would just appeal it straight away if there were no repercussions for appealing."

Bartel leaves Nathan Burke, Michael Christian, Jason Johnson and Michael Jamison as the four remaining MRP members.

Topics:  jimmy bartel match review panel

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