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GWS criticism may be harsh, but they may face tough decisions

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An internal club memo was sent to Greater Western Sydney staff this week following the candid comments made by football director Jimmy Bartel on The Age Real Footy Podcast.

Bartel had spoken of the need to review "the whole football department". While stressing the review would come in the form of a general end-of-season analysis, Bartel also underlined a growing intolerance at the Giants for finishing "between third and sixth each year".


His comments, made on the eve of the finals, provoked enough public response for club chief Dave Matthews to email staff assuring them there would be no formal post-season review. Matthews did not admonish Bartel but did speak with his rookie board member to address his comments and the fall-out.

Bartel's conflict of interest as a media commentator serving on a club board is a side issue to the off-field problems facing the Giants as they head into a sudden-death final against the Western Bulldogs. It is one shared by Mark Ricciuto at Adelaide and Chris Judd at Carlton.

Giants board member Jimmy Bartel.Credit:Joe Armao

All three - and notably Ricciuto - have placed their clubs under scrutiny at some point with their commentary while Leigh Matthews, who did not enjoy the conflict during Justin Leppitsch's coaching era, subsequently backed away from his issues at Brisbane by removing the football director title from his board role.

And whatever the depth or formality of any post-September assessment this season........

© The Age