As Chairman, Fitzpatrick was in a powerful position in Australian sport. And with great power comes great responsibility.
That responsibility includes treating stakeholders professionally and with respect.
Yet a furious Fitzpatrick rang Sydney Swans Chairman Richard Colless — and delivered an expletive-laden tirade — after Lance Franklin joined the Swans at the end of 2013.
The AFL had expected Franklin to sign with GWS.
Fitzpatrick wanted Franklin to join GWS to help the expansion of the club, but when Sydney cleverly recruited the Hawk star, he exploded.
There was no warm-up, no introduction — the opening pleasantries were the ‘F’ bomb and the ‘C’ bomb. It went on for about 10 minutes and it was basically just a torrent of abuse.
If any of this gets out to the press — this conversation — I’ll know where it came from and you watch out.
If Mike was surprised that it was made public, I was surprised that he behaved like a thug and a bully. It was more like dealing with a Mafia Don than a football head. I thought it said a lot about the individual and the way he operated.
That’s the way the AFL has operated for a long, long time.
Richard Colless tells of expletive laden tirade from AFL commission chairman
AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick doesn’t have the goods, say clubs