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  1. #16
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    It's from my era too I was around the club at that age. I can't recall the man in question but it's possible i encountered him.
    I vaguely remember a guy everyone called Chops back in the '80s when I hung around the club pretty much every day watching training and kicking the footy around with mates but I don't think I ever spoke to him.

    The club needs to make this right as a priority.
    "Is it about a bicycle?" he asked.

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  3. #17
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Horrifying. I'd like the club to drive hard to create something enduring out of this. A club statement is just only scratching the surface of what needs to be done. We failed these poor children, and we should be doing something now that tangibly makes a difference going forward that stamps our club's bonafides as a family and community oriented club.

  4. #18
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Western Bulldogs sex abuse scandal heads to court

    Exclusive: The Western Bulldogs are facing a multimillion-dollar claim in a landmark legal case over historic sexual abuse at Whitten Oval.

    Adam Kneale has lodged a lawsuit against the Bulldogs in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

    He claims the Bulldogs did nothing to protect him from convicted paedophile Graeme Hobbs, who was a “jack of all trades” at the club.

    Wesley College paid out $3 million and Geelong College was forced to pay $2.7 million in similar sexual abuse cases in Victoria last year.

    Mr Kneale is the first person to sue an AFL club over sexual abuse but other clubs also face potential claims.

    St Kilda was accused of failing to protect its little league players from paedophiles, with former star Rod Owen among the victims.

    And a convicted paedophile ran Carlton’s little league team between 1973 and 1977.

    Michael Magazanik, a partner at Rightside Legal who filed the case, said Mr Kneale wanted to hold the Bulldogs to account.

    “In 1993, when he was 21, Adam told his story to police, and Hobbs and another man were jailed. But that didn’t end Adam’s suffering and he has now lived with the consequences for almost 40 years,” Mr Magazanik said.

    “Adam is the first person to sue an AFL club over child abuse – but other will follow because there were multiple paedophiles involved in little league teams during the 1970s. Some of those survivors are also considering legal claims.”

    Hobbs, who died in 2009, was a fixture at the Bulldogs in the 1980s when he was the under-19 team steward, a chairman of the fundraising committee and “jack of all trades”.

    He abused Mr Kneale, now 49, between 1984 and 1990, including in “the grandstand” at Whitten Oval while games were being played.

    Mr Kneale was only 11 years old when he met Hobbs at the Bulldogs, which was then known as the Footscray Football Club.

    Mr Kneale reported his abuse to police in a 5,500 word statement, which led to Hobbs’ arrest.

    Another victim also came forward at the time, with Hobbs pleading guilty to the abuse of Mr Kneale, as well as another child, with offences dating back to 1965.

    The Western Times, a local newspaper that circulated in Melbourne’s west, detailed the court case on its front page in 1994.

    The court heard that Hobbs, who was known as “Chops”, had given Mr Kneale free season tickets, “as many as I wanted for my friends”.

    The court was told: “When police raided his home on February 9, 1993, they discovered 39 Footscray Football Club membership cards and 14 Footscray Football Club membership medallions. Prosecutor Ms Francine McNiff said the Crown would suggest that these items were used by Hobbs to cultivate boys.”

    Mr Kneale, who gave permission to be named in this story, wanted to speak out to help others, Mr Magazanik said.

    The Bulldogs said when asked about the case: “Due to the sensitive nature of these issues, and the commencement of legal proceedings before a jury, the Club is not in a position to comment further at this time.”

    However, Bulldogs chief executive Ameet Bains said before the case was filed that the club was “shocked and dismayed to learn about the terrible abuse suffered by Adam Kneale in the 1980s.”

    “What Adam was subjected to as a child and the impact it has subsequently had on the remainder of his life is heartbreaking and distressing,” Mr Bains said.

    “Football clubs should be a safe and enjoyable place for all people, especially children, so Adam’s experiences and the fact that elements of this abuse occurred at the hands of a Footscray Football Club volunteer are simply devastating.”

  5. #19
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    No Comment
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  6. #20
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    This has made me really, really sad. I wouldn’t draw so long a bow to implicate the club over the actual abusers, but between the abuse being committed by a club official, through enticement with club funds, in the damn rooms, and for such a long time, there is no way we don’t retain some culpability here. And how Galimberti thought it fitting to not go to the police to assist, either at the time he removed Hobbs from the club or in the course of the investigation, is beyond belief.

    The response of Peter Gordon is bitterly disappointing, and the one from Baines completely toothless. The club simply has to do something tangible here.
    - RIP Goldstein for 2021 First - 2020-2020 -

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  8. #21
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    No Comment
    But you did.. why not just remain silent?

  9. #22
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    No doubt Adam Kneale should be compensated. Hopefully we can do it out of Court.

  10. #23
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    I'm surprised there is not a statute of limitations on this. I don't buy that it is to hold the Bulldogs to account 30 years later, I'm sure Ameet would be happy to meet with him and address his concerns away from the courts and million dollar settlements

    There's no suggestion this has continued into the 21st century, staff and controls around this sort of behaviour have changed many times over. It is appropriate for the club to ensure it has learned the required lessons, and to support Adam on an ongoing basis, but I don't think it's reasonable for the current management team to be dragged through the media and the courts. To me that would be a last resort if the club were brushing him off

    Ameet has come out and apologised, then he has filed in the courts where the apology could be used as evidence against us. Now any sort of defense to protect the interests of the club will come across as uncaring and enabling the horrific behaviour he experienced
    If you kicked five goals and Tom Boyd kicked five goals, Tom Boyd kicked more goals than you.

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  11. #24
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    This is chilling and I am so sad and sorry for the victim/ victims. I hope the club does all it can to make amends.

    Quote Originally Posted by boydogs View Post
    I'm surprised there is not a statute of limitations on this. I don't buy that it is to hold the Bulldogs to account 30 years later, I'm sure Ameet would be happy to meet with him and address his concerns away from the courts and million dollar settlements

    There's no suggestion this has continued into the 21st century, staff and controls around this sort of behaviour have changed many times over. It is appropriate for the club to ensure it has learned the required lessons, and to support Adam on an ongoing basis, but I don't think it's reasonable for the current management team to be dragged through the media and the courts. To me that would be a last resort if the club were brushing him off

    Ameet has come out and apologised, then he has filed in the courts where the apology could be used as evidence against us. Now any sort of defense to protect the interests of the club will come across as uncaring and enabling the horrific behaviour he experienced
    I don't agree with this. The current administration can only act in good faith and represent the club to the best of its ability. If they act with integrity they won't come through the situation with a tarnished reputation, rather, they'll likely leave with an enhanced one.
    Just call me Ponyboy.

  12. #25
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by boydogs View Post
    I'm surprised there is not a statute of limitations on this. I don't buy that it is to hold the Bulldogs to account 30 years later, I'm sure Ameet would be happy to meet with him and address his concerns away from the courts and million dollar settlements

    There's no suggestion this has continued into the 21st century, staff and controls around this sort of behaviour have changed many times over. It is appropriate for the club to ensure it has learned the required lessons, and to support Adam on an ongoing basis, but I don't think it's reasonable for the current management team to be dragged through the media and the courts. To me that would be a last resort if the club were brushing him off

    Ameet has come out and apologised, then he has filed in the courts where the apology could be used as evidence against us. Now any sort of defense to protect the interests of the club will come across as uncaring and enabling the horrific behaviour he experienced
    I agree with this post. Undeniably a wrong has been committed and our digust and anger should be directed at those involved both those who did he deeds and those who helped cover it up. The abuse though is 30 to 40 years ago and whilst that doesn't make the crime any less serious, a civil action against the club effectively punishes those involved now for past crimes.

    To me it seems that the FFC did not cover this up. They sacked the individual involved and criminal charges were laid once the abuse was reported and the club made aware. Could the club have done more in 1993? Maybe they could have reached out to Adam Kneale and sought to provide him with support/compensation. I don't think that makes them responsible for the damages and what has happened in his life since the abuse was identified and stopped.

    A cynic would ask why now? Why is Adam only now seeking compensation and lodging a legal claim against the FFC? Its not like he was a hidden victim, his statement led to the conviction of Hobbs.

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  14. #26
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by FrediKanoute View Post
    I agree with this post. Undeniably a wrong has been committed and our digust and anger should be directed at those involved both those who did he deeds and those who helped cover it up. The abuse though is 30 to 40 years ago and whilst that doesn't make the crime any less serious, a civil action against the club effectively punishes those involved now for past crimes.

    To me it seems that the FFC did not cover this up. They sacked the individual involved and criminal charges were laid once the abuse was reported and the club made aware. Could the club have done more in 1993? Maybe they could have reached out to Adam Kneale and sought to provide him with support/compensation. I don't think that makes them responsible for the damages and what has happened in his life since the abuse was identified and stopped.

    A cynic would ask why now? Why is Adam only now seeking compensation and lodging a legal claim against the FFC? Its not like he was a hidden victim, his statement led to the conviction of Hobbs.
    Abuse victims are all different, and questioning their motives for seeking compensation/ recourse and timing of doing so has been proved to discourage them from coming forward.

    We have a system and process, let it play out and hope the club represents itself to the best of its abilities. Nobody is holding the current administration to account for what happened and won't unless it is found they've done something to hamper justice being served or have not supported the victim/ victims.

    How our club acts on these allegations is probably the most serious issue it has faced since the fightback, and that's not to say it isn't more serious than what it faced during that time.

    You can't have kids sexually abused/ raped at your football club. It needs to be addressed no matter the timing.
    Just call me Ponyboy.

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  16. #27
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    You can't have kids sexually abused/ raped at your football club. It needs to be addressed no matter the timing.
    This is the start, middle and end of the story.

    I have zero time for the "why now" crowd. They go in with the "why don't they just get over it" crowd.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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  18. #28
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    This is the start, middle and end of the story.

    I have zero time for the "why now" crowd. They go in with the "why don't they just get over it" crowd.
    Yes I don't think anyone can answer what's right for a victim.
    Its a very sad chapter in the clubs history, and it happened on our watch so we need to be held responsible.
    Retired from match day thread - Sep 2021

  19. #29
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    This is the start, middle and end of the story.

    I have zero time for the "why now" crowd. They go in with the "why don't they just get over it" crowd.
    I think I'm more, he's cheapening his experience by going to the courts. It's implying that money can fix what happened

    I was kind of with him going to the media, you need to shine a light on these things to ensure systemic issues are addressed and victims are comfortable speaking out, but going to the courts after the club publically apologised feels like a gotcha

    Everyone deals with trauma differently, some are private some are public, some will never drive again after a car crash and some want to get back on the horse and move on. He obviously feels like the time is right to speak up, I guess I'm just putting myself in Ameet's shoes where he is being held accountable for the distant past and has had to switch gears from a heartfelt apology to a corporate no comment
    If you kicked five goals and Tom Boyd kicked five goals, Tom Boyd kicked more goals than you.

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  20. #30
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Abuse victims are all different, and questioning their motives for seeking compensation/ recourse and timing of doing so has been proved to discourage them from coming forward.

    We have a system and process, let it play out and hope the club represents itself to the best of its abilities. Nobody is holding the current administration to account for what happened and won't unless it is found they've done something to hamper justice being served or have not supported the victim/ victims.

    How our club acts on these allegations is probably the most serious issue it has faced since the fightback, and that's not to say it isn't more serious than what it faced during that time.

    You can't have kids sexually abused/ raped at your football club. It needs to be addressed no matter the timing.
    No one is suggesting that it was ok, and the fact it happened is tragic and a black mark on the club and people involved who may have known and did nothing.

    Realistically though what do we do from here? We can't undo the abuse. The person who carried out the abuse was jailed. From a criminal perspective the matter has been dealt with. Any pecuniary punishment levelled against the club today will be punishing the club now 30+ years after the abuse, assuming the club was at fault.

    There is an element of revisionism here and an imagining that the club should have had in place the standards/controls/checks that are mandated under laws today. The fact is no organisation had the level of controls or processes you see today with police checks etc. to deal with this. Galimberti's actions to raise it an accept it had been dealt with are most likely what an ordinary person back in 1994 would have been expected to do, especially as it resulted in a criminal conviction.

    I feel sorry for Adam and wouldn't wish what he went through on anyone. I would expect the club to offer to provide support to Adam and assist in any way it can, but I think a legal claim of millions is ambulance chasing and the main winners will be his solicitors.

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