Brisbane Lions hold crisis meeting over WhatsApp chat from Las Vegas trip

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The Brisbane Lions have held crisis talks to ensure the fallout from an end of season trip to the United States no longer has ramifications on their 2024 season.

After losing their third-straight match to start the season, club leaders came to together on Good Friday to hold talks over reported rifts that first unfolded during the off-season when a group of roughly 10 players travelled to America.

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The talks were reportedly held after a Whatsapp group chat, which detailed what the players were getting up to in the United States, was seen by one player’s partner.

The Herald Sun reports one of the players accidentally uploaded the group chat to iCloud on his Apple Phone.

The player’s partner is then said to have seen the messages on a shared device at home, before sharing the messages with other partners who became enraged with what was unfolding on the trip which ended in Las Vegas in November.

The Lions entered the season as one of the premiership favourites having falling agonisingly short to Collingwood in the Grand Final.

They’ve failed to secure a win with losses to Carlton, Fremantle and Collingwood. Despite the 0-3 start, club chief executive Greg Swann says the off-field drama has nothing to do with their on-field performances.

“If the question is, ‘Is there a split in a group?’ Well, no there isn’t,” Swann told the Herald Sun.

“It’s just bulls***. There’s no split in the group. This was in November, by the way. It’s not the reason we’re going no good.”

Despite Swann shutting down rumours the issue is causing rifts, AFL journo Sam McClure said it was causing headaches and had resulted in players splitting with partners.

“From what people inside the club have told me, it’s certainly been a few headaches since the trip to America late last year between 10 players, a fair chunk of which were Brisbane players,” McClure said on 3AW

“It ended in Las Vegas and certain information got home to loved ones that didn’t go down too well.

“It’s caused rifts in some relationships. It’s caused other relationships to end between players and partners.

“There’s even suggestions put to me today that it has caused some tough conversations to be had between teammates as to what went on on that US trip.”

Coach Chris Fagan said after their third straight loss that the club wouldn’t be hitting the panic button just yet.

“We certainly haven’t had the start that we hoped for, and we’ve dropped two home games which has been very unusual for us over the last period of time, so we’ve got a bit of work to do to find ourselves,” Fagan admitted.

“It’s not a great start, but let’s not catastrophise it either, would be the way I’d look at it.

“We’re zero and three, and there’s 20 games to go.

“Some of our players are not at their best at the moment. I can’t explain to you why, and that’s sport for you.

“Sometimes you go through form slumps … so we’ve got to keep working away with those guys.

“I’ve trusted them for a long time and they’ve delivered so I’m not going to jump off them just because we’ve lost three games in a row.

“We’ve turned up and played pretty well for the last five or six years, and right now we’re just having a little slump, and you’ve got to remember that that’s teams sometimes – it’s the life of a team.

“Sometimes you go through a form slump. I’ve got to help find their form again – that’s my job.

“They’re the players that we’ve got.”

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