Friday July 21 – 2.30PM
The AFLPA Accredited Agents’ Board (AAB) met last week and considered investigation reports into matters relating to accredited agents Liam Pickering, James Pitcher and Jason Sourasis.
The investigation related to proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria between companies owned and managed by the agents, which proceedings were concluded earlier this year. Each of the agents had previously worked together as business associates before falling out and ultimately parting ways. The actions of the agents in relation to this fallout gave rise to concerns that one or more of them may have engaged in conduct in breach of the AFLPA Regulations Governing Accredited Agents.
Pickering and Pitcher
The AAB upheld the findings of the investigator, that Pickering and Pitcher had breached the Agents Regulations by: a) purporting to act for players without a valid representation agreement; and b) breaching their duties under the Corporations Act to the company they previously held roles as employees and, in the case of Pickering, as a director.
The AAB determined to issue reprimands to both Pickering and Pitcher. In reaching this sanction, the Board took into consideration that:
– The relevant conduct of Pickering and Pitcher related largely to their business dealings with Sourasis and their former company.
– The Agents’ Regulations and Code of Conduct’s primary focus is to ensure that the players’ interests are protected and furthered.
– There has been no complaint by any player as to the conduct of the Agents, nor has it been shown that any player has suffered detriment as a result of their conduct. While the agents had in some cases acted for players without a valid representation agreement, this occurred in circumstances where the agents had previously entered into a representation agreement with the relevant player or had taken steps to do so.
The AAB also noted:
– Pickering and Pitcher’s previous good record as accredited agents over a long period; and
– that Pickering & Pitcher have been subjected to media reports that were found by the Press Council to be an inaccurate representation of the outcome of the proceedings.
The AAB upheld the findings of the investigator that Sourasis had not breached the Agents Regulations as he was not an accredited agent at the time.
While the AAB was empowered to consider whether Sourasis’ conduct was such that he was not a fit and proper person to be an accredited agent, the AAB did not consider that the facts warranted such a decision.