West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett responds to Caroline Wilson’s criticism

The West Australian
Trevor Nisbett, CEO of the Eagles looks on during the 2018 AFL round 19 match.
Camera IconTrevor Nisbett, CEO of the Eagles looks on during the 2018 AFL round 19 match. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Media/AFL Media

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett has fired back at Caroline Wilson and Ross Lyon for their sensational comments made earlier in the week on his club’s ‘uncomfortable advantage’.

Provided the Eagles finish fifth, Wilson suggested it would be unfair for the eighth-placed side to have to travel west for the final, despite West Coast earning clear hosting rights.

Nisbett slammed the outlandish remarks, suggesting the veteran journalist was searching for a headline.

READ WILSON, LYON’S FULL COMMENTS HERE

“I thought the comments were ridiculous really,” Nisbett said on ABC Grandstand.

“They were inflammatory to get conversation going, I think that’s probably the best way I can describe it.

“It was just silly comments, from two really respected people in the industry in particular.”

The long-time administrator questioned why the Eagles were copping criticism after their second Queensland stint, when multiple clubs have barely stayed outside their home state this season.

Business Insider Magazine - West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett
Camera IconBusiness Insider Magazine - West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

“We’ve been pushing for a long, long time there needs to be fairness and an equitable draw along with the opportunity that if you earn the rights you should be given those rights,” he said.

“Us coming home, the debate didn’t centre around Brisbane, Port Adelaide and Gold Coast not having to move for more than a week or two at a time.

“They were living at home throughout the whole season basically.

“So the discussion was really ridiculous.”

Former Fremantle coach Lyon described West Coast’s advantage as “a bit out of kilter for mine”, despite their looming fifth-place finish earning the home final.

Neither Lyon’s, nor Wilson’s comments were well-received on social media.

“Why do WCE get dumped on, when Port, can fly home and Brisbane have been home all season, which is accepted,” one user asked.

“It beggars belief that Victorian media just keep sticking the boot in, time and time again.

“Give these guys a break and appreciate their effort.”

Meanwhile Nisbett said the club was bracing for an enormous financial hit from the 2020 season, despite boasting the most memberships in the entire competition.

“We’re not sure (yet) but at the halfway mark of the season we were losing $14.5 million this year,” he said.

“The reason for that is we have a risk vs reward opportunity through Optus Stadium and if we sell a lot of product we get the reward, if we don't sell a lot of product we lose money.

“It’s a difficult one because this year is such an unusual year and we’re not sure what our end result will be as yet because we don’t know the outcome of a home final.

“We’re trying to claw back as much as we can. It’s a difficult process because we’ve only had the five home games with half crowds.

“To tell you how much we’ve got on our balance sheet at the end of this year, I’d be speculating at the moment.”

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