Damien Hardwick’s new relationship with a younger Richmond employee had to be approved by the club’s human resources policy in order for him to remain as the club’s coach.
Hardwick, 48, confirmed last month that he had split up with wife Danielle, with whom he has three children. He has started a new relationship with a member of the Tigers’ commercial sales team.
There was mounting speculation on Sunday night that the three-time premier manager might step down, but the Tigers denied it when questioned by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
However, on Monday the Tigers released a statement confirming that Hardwick and the woman had been transparent about the relationship.
« The club is aware that manager Damien Hardwick is currently in a relationship with a member of the club’s administrative staff. The club has no concerns about this in terms of club policy, « a statement said.
Sources said she joined him at the AFL hub at the end of the season as the Tigers again celebrated ultimate success.
As one of the AFL’s most respected figures, Hardwick has often referred to his wife as « Mrs. Hardwick » at press conferences, and she was a very popular figure on Punt Road.
The Tigers don’t believe the split will affect the playgroup or the club as a whole.
Danielle Hardwick and her two daughters spent Christmas morning with Tigers’ captain Trent Cotchin and his family. Cotchin’s wife Brooke posted a picture of the Hardwick girls on Christmas Day on Instagram, declaring them « second family ». .
AFL executives Richard Simkiss and Simon Lethlean were forced to leave the sport’s headquarters in 2017 due to their relationships with younger employees, but the Tigers believe that relationship is different. Sources close to Gillon McLachlan said the league chief is aware of the situation.
Jon Pierik is a cricket writer for The Age. He also reports on AFL and has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.
Damien Hardwick, Richmond Football Club, Australian Football League, Trent Cotchin
World News – AU – Tigers had to review guidelines for new relationships with Hardwick
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