Fremantle Dockers unload on disgraced AFL umpire Michael Pell over Jordan Clark criticism

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Fremantle has hit back hard at a disgraced former AFL umpire over his criticism of young Docker Jordan Clark.

The 23-year-old Clark has been in the spotlight since his dissent call cost Fremantle a goal and any shot at victory in its 10-point loss to Carlton at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

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Pell, who spent one season as an AFL umpire in 2022 before being sacked, slammed Clark in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“The irony in all this is that I warned Jordan Clark in a Covid 14v14 nothing game when he was a spoilt brat and carrying on that he needed to stop abusing umpires,” Pell wrote in a retweet of a video of the incident on the field.

“Guess he still hasn’t learnt. Stinky attitude and any wonder Geelong were happy to see the back of him.”

Pell was arrested on November 14, 2022 on suspicions of supplying sensitive information on Brownlow Medal votes and dumped as an AFL umpire.

He has not been charged with any offence.

Fremantle footy boss Joe Brierty jumped on Pell’s lack of credibility when he discussed Clark on ABC Radio in Perth.

“Jordan is a quality young man and a fantastic person who’s done an enormous amount of work for our club, on and off the field,” Brierty said.

“We stand behind him with our fans knowing the quality of the person he is.

“To have someone that brings your character into question on Twitter, who really has no credibility whatsoever, is really frustrating and disappointing.

“We’re right behind Jordan and I love the way he goes about it for our club.”

Many of the comments on Pell’s post took a similar stance.

The club has spoken with Clark since the free kick incident and is satisfied with his version of events.

“The conversation that we’ve had with Jordan is that he was frustrated at himself,” Brierty said.

“(Clark’s) swearing at himself at that point in time, but obviously from an umpire’s point of view when they are looking at each other, he feels as though it’s directed towards him.

“That’s where the umpire has paid the dissent free kick.”

Clark was drafted by the Cats in 2018 and played 32 games over three seasons before being traded to Fremantle.

Matthew Kennedy was awarded the shot from directly in front after Clark’s dissent and kicked the goal as Carlton claimed its first win from eight attempts at Adelaide Oval.

“We’ve been so complimentary of Freo, the discipline, the pressure and everything they brought,” Jason Dunstall said in commentary.

“But they lost their cool. They lost their cool when they thought the ball was touched off the boot and the umpire didn’t pay it.

“The one thing you’ve got to do is keep your cool.

“They lost it. They would’ve had a minute to try to get a centre clearance and try to go forward.

“But obviously they were too vociferous with their protests over the ball being touched before Cottrell marked it.”

The Dockers, who have won three of their first four games of the season, face Port Adelaide back at Adelaide Oval this Saturday.

Brierty said the club took plenty of positives from the effort against Carlton.

“We take away some learnings from the game and we move on and look to next week,” Brierty said.

“I really want to make sure that we acknowledge the work our players did … against a really good team and I’m really proud of the way in which they went about it.

“I think our members and fans feel the same way.

“We’ll review the game as we normally would and then we’ll look forward to Port later in the week.”

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