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Statement from CEO Paul Marsh

All players from Essendon’s 2012 list – including those who have not received an infraction notice – decided not to play in the NAB Challenge. The playing group took this step following discussions with the PA and the Club, as a means of protecting the identities of those players with infraction notices.

The group’s decision was at all times subject to the right of individual players choosing to play if they wished to do so. This was made abundantly clear at the time of the group’s decision, and has been reinforced subsequently. The playing group, and the leadership group in particular, were keen to ensure that no player suffered a disadvantage by choosing to sit out of the NAB Challenge.

The decision by a small number of players to play in the NAB Challenge has therefore been made with the full support of their teammates and the Players’ Association.