Fagan has enlisted the help of Clayton Utz lawyers and barristers Liam Kelly KC and David Turner to act on his behalf in the impending AFL investigation into historical allegations of mistreatment of First Nations players at Hawthorn.
The 61-year-old released a second statement in which he protested his innocence once again after doing so last week.
“I confirm, as I said in my earlier statement, that I deny, categorically, the allegations of wrongdoing by me in relation to First Nations players at the Hawthorn Football Club, and that I intend to defend myself,” he said.
“I also confirm my intention to participate fully in any investigative process, provided that it is independent, fair and impartial, and respects my right to be heard.
“I await further information from the AFL.”
The Brisbane Lions coach has also received backing from both the club itself and his captain, Dayne Zorko.
“Obviously I agree with the club’s statement 100 per cent,” Zorko told SENQ’s Pat and Heals.
“We’ll obviously wrap our arms around Fages and all the indigenous boys as well, we’re a really big family club and that’s something we’ve preached ever since Fages got to the club.
“He’s been a key force and driver in all of that. I can’t really comment on that too much but all I can say is we’ve wrapped our arms around everyone and got the full support of everyone at the club.
“We’ll let the process run its course and hopefully it’s all over and done with soon enough and Fages can come back and assume his role at the club.”
Fagan has been stood down from his position at Brisbane until the investigation is concluded, with Alastair Clarkson delaying his start date at North Melbourne for the same reason. Clarkson also denies any wrongdoing.
Despite his recent arrival at North Melbourne, Clarkson has the firm backing of Kangaroos powerbrokers.
”I’m really confident in his side of the story and I’m sure we’ll all get the chance to hear that through the AFL’s process. I’ve been speaking with Alastair right through this,” club president Sonja Hood said on Saturday prior to the grand final.
The AFL is yet to assemble the four-person panel that will conduct the investigation, with league boss Gillon McLachlan adamant on having a diverse group of individuals in place.
The First Nations families who have made the allegations against the former Hawthorn employees are believed to have serious reservations about taking part in the AFL investigation as they feel they’ve already told their story in both the Hawthorn club review and to ABC reporter Russell Jackson.
Fagan’s statement comes after the AFL Coaches’ Association called on the league to install a former senior coach or official who could provide context on conversations between coaches and players.
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