Salacious Buddy rumour angers Swans
THE Sydney Swans have not ruled out taking legal action against Grant Thomas after the former AFL coach persisted with his "potentially libellous" attack on Lance Franklin.
Thomas, who is building a reputation as one of the game's most outspoken voices on social media, tweeted "gossip" surrounding the reasons behind the star forward's absence from the Sydney team from rounds six to eight.
The former St Kilda mentor questioned whether Franklin, who the Swans reported was forced out with a bruised heel, and midfielder Dan Hannebery - who was sidelined during the same period with a hamstring injury - had been punished for off-field indiscretions.
Was Franklin & Hannebery injuries coincidentally the same time frame?🤔 Hearing perhaps internal punishment for off field indiscretions? I’m sure it’s just gossip - there’d be no way Bud would do anything wrong off field. 😳— Grant Thomas (@Thomo_Grant) 2 June 2018
The Swans were reportedly prepared to ignore Thomas' tweet, but on Monday SEN Breakfast host Tim Watson read an unattributed statement from the club which described the accusation as "absolutely laughable".
"I'd like to think that if we stepped a player down for poor discipline, we'd call it out as it was," Watson read.
It prompted Thomas to double down. He posted another tweet suggesting Swans head of football Tom Harley was behind the response.
"I hear Tim Watson's Channel 7 buddy Tom Harley said its rubbish so it must be," Thomas wrote. "Therefore all test result stuff doing the rounds must be rubbish too. Even missing the finals is probably rot also? In fact he has never missed a game for anything other than legitimate injury."
I hear Tim Watson’s Channel 7 buddy Tom Harley said its rubbish so it must be😏. Therefore all test result stuff doing the rounds must be rubbish too. Even missing the finals is probably rot also? In fact he has never missed a game for anything other than legitimate injury https://t.co/AcJvSnsebh— Grant Thomas (@Thomo_Grant) 4 June 2018
Thomas also retweeted messages from unverified sources which made further allegations against Franklin.
Swans CEO Andrew Ireland responded in a statement issued on Monday night.
"He's clearly wrong," Ireland's statement read. "The players are injured, and he's saying we're lying about it.
"It's simply nonsense and people shouldn't take notice of anything he says because he is so wrong about this he clearly has no credibility in anything else he says."
Wilson said Ireland considered Thomas' tweets "potentially libellous" and had not ruled out taking legal action.