Nine stands down Matty Johns

Developing story: Nine stands down Matthew Johns with David Gyngell describing the incident as 'unacceptable' while Melbourne Storm also drops him from a coaching position.

nrlfUPDATED: Matthew Johns was stood down indefinitely by the Nine Network today. Johns and his manager John Fordham had a two hour meeting with the head of Channel Nine, David Gyngell. He is will front on A Current Affair tonight. Tracy Grimshaw is flying from her Melbourne home to Nine’s Sydney studios.

Nine CEO David Gyngell has now said: “The fact is, whatever the arguments about the details of the New Zealand incident involving Cronulla players in 2002, the conduct and its aftermath was simply unacceptable, fullstop.

“”I have always had great regard for Matt, but he knows better than anyone that this incident has
placed him in an untenable position. To his credit he has recognised that and acted upon it.”

Melbourne Storm has also responded with CEO Brian Waldron saying, “Following discussions between Melbourne Storm and Matthew Johns management earlier today, it was mutually agreed that Matthew would stand down from his part-time role with the club, indefinitely.”

Reports today claim TV personality and former footballer Matthew Johns is set to be stood down indefinitely by Channel Nine over his involvement in a group sex act.

The ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday night claimed a teenage woman had been left feeling suicidal after participating in group sex with Johns and other Sharks players in a Christchurch hotel seven years ago. Her emotional claims were devastating television.

The woman claimed up to 12 players and staff had entered the room over a two-hour period, with six of them having sex with her. Four New Zealand police travelled to Sydney to investigate the incident, but no charges were laid.

Last week on the NRL Footy Show, Johns commented on the incident as a pre-emptive strike before the ABC show could air, claiming it had caused a lot of embarrassment to his family. There was no apology to the girl involved -he even got a pat on the back from Paul Vautin.

Four Corners claims Johns told them he knew the story would catch up with him one day.

NRL chief executive David Gallop yesterday declared everyone involved in rugby league must accept the need to change attitudes towards women or “get out of the game”.

Asked about Johns, Gallop said: “He has got a massive question mark over his future.

“I’m aware that he will be talking to his employer in the next short period.

Nine would not comment yesterday on the future of Johns but news.com.au claims he has been stood down from all on-air roles indefinitely.

Media continue to blast the NRL and Matty Johns over the incident but Johns’ manager John Fordham said his client would not make a public apology to the girl involved.

But Gallop said the incidents highlighted by Four Corners were “fundamentally indefensible”. He apologised to the women who appeared in the program.

“Violence against women is abhorrent and sexual assault and the degradation of women is just that,” Gallop said.

“This is not a time for clubs and players to complain about the media or the fact that victims have spoken out.”

The loss of Johns to the NRL Footy Show comes at a time when the show is struggling to gain viewers in its key markets. In Sydney last week it was beaten by the ABC’s Q&A, yet it managed to win a Logie as the “Most Popular Sports Show.” At the time Paul Vautin thanked CEO David Gyngell for helping to keep the show on air, a line he declined to elaborate on to media after the show.

At the start of its season this year Vautin opened the show with a serious monologue about standards of decency amongst players, and the need for NRL to improve its code of conduct for the sake of a great game.

It’s time to stand up and be counted.

Source: news.com.au, smh.com.au, The Australian

71 Responses

  1. As a footnote to my previous post,the fluff piece is now done and dusted with the prime objective seemingly to lay blame on some non nine employed players….geez i wonder if any of them work for another network?
    (please don’t either side of this argument get me wrong,both sides are as disgusting as the other…..still think they should have onioned him up a little those attempts at remorse didn’t quite hit the mark without tears.

  2. @ Andrew “See the thing about these footy players is they all end up with wives and families because they respect the women they eventually do marry.”

    You have got to be kidding, right? These meat heads (not all players, just the meat-head ‘me want sex’ types) do not respect their wives like you say…

  3. Nwest said that “It is unfair that Matthew Johns is the only one to be held accountable” and I agree, where are the others and I want to know why the girl involved took 2 men to her room, surely she knew she was in for group sex…………However it all happened several years ago and people do change in those years

    I’m female and oldish so I am aware that what they all did to the girl was disgusting and it certainly was. But why is everyone making such a huge fuss now over what has been happening in football circles for years as many oldies will tell you. We know what goes on and it needs to be stopped .
    However many of these girls throw themselves at the footballers and then cry foul play when it doesn’t end up as they expected.
    One of my family members was at Uni with a girl who bragged about having sex with most of the Broncos and Qld Reds players -several years ago – it was a ‘feather in her cap” so to speak..

    This whole Mat Johns is about pulling down tall poppies.

  4. While I agree that there is a problem with the people immersed in the NRL culture respecting ladies, it takes 2 to tango. No charges were laid because she consented…… if she agreed and she later feels like a whore, then to bad. That’s no reason to ruin the life and careers of the guys you slept with.And Why only name Matty? If it was as bad as you say you would remember who else, you do remember who else!! Just because Matty is in the public eye doesn’t mean he should pay a price that should be distributed to everyone involved. And who cares if she was 19? does that even matter ?she was legal … go to any nightclub any weekend and see the things 19 year old girls get up to. The media need to realise that while it is not a liked culture, that is the way any footy culture is and always has been, it’s the same in any environment like it ( just not in the medias eye) and there are many women out there who knowingly immerse themselves in that culture and situations which could cause regret later. While the event may be distasteful it’s not illegal in either country why should he (and the others – once the media hunts them down) be punished as criminals ?

  5. I was very surprised with Tracey’s interview tonight, at first I thought here we go channel nine fluffing the disgusting behaviour and protecting their staff.

    Matty will get the opportunity to say he was sorry etc etc but instead I felt wow channel 9 is saying enough is enough. Tracey was excellent and she summarised it to the tee.

    Matty was an ambassador for the sport and channel 9 he has abused that title.

    I wonder why it took him seven years to say sorry on the footy show a few days before the 4 corners episode.

    I hope the NRL will stand up and take the footy show off for a while, and hopefully come back with a whole new concept.

  6. Mathew John’s job was always going to live or die on the power of what the sponsor thought. If 9 thought the sponsors would stand for a person of his “character” then he would be pushed out the door.

    Some cloud still remains as to whether he is sacked or stood down on full pay.

    Can’t expect the ACA interview to be any more than a fluff piece, where he will appologise to the girl and the fans. He still has a foot in the door and is keen to get back in again. A bit like the incident itself.

  7. Who’s going to replace him on the Footy Show? Vossy and Fatty are bad enough! Will they get Chief back or his brother Andrew?

    I think they should get Ryan Girdler or someone funny! Although didn’t they do a similar thing with Sam Newman on the AFL footy show then he come back anyone.. probably going to be the same with Matty.

    I am quite angry about this, had this had been rape then sure through the book at him but this woman invited these people back to her place and never said anything till later.. Was Matthew even the one having sex with her? It doesn’t sound like it..

    See the thing about these footy players is they all end up with wives and families because they respect the women they eventually do marry.

  8. Channel Nine are just saving face, but for 7 years there has been information about what happened, and yet Nine chose to use/employ Johns up until the ABC did their story…
    Good on ABC. Same on you Nine.

  9. NRL’s version down to two hosts now.

    Vautin and Voss. (Harrigan left last year.)

    If Voss chucks it in, either revive the split NRL Footy Show experiment (with separate Footy Shows in Sydney and Brisbane), or can it for a pretaped NRL window done by Fatty or Ken Sutcliffe, in the AFL Footy Show, which would run at 9:30 on the main channel in the NRL states.

    I just hope Vautin doesn’t have any “dirty sheets” from his footy career that could ruin him worse than both Johns brothers combined undoings.

  10. I have just read many of the comments that have been left for all to read. I am a great fan of Matty Johns. People have to remember that what happened occured somewhat several years ago and now all of a sudden this girl comes out and talks about it. Of course she would named Matty Johns as he is a High Profile Person and his face is on telly. If this was someone of the street we the public wouldn’t have heard about it at all. But because of Matty’s Profile everyone is hearing about it and Matty and his whole family have to endure the pain, what about the other players, who have done wrong by woman? Many of these players are still playing the game they love so much. Matty has lived with his mistakes and everyone should just stop bagging him and live their own life the best they can. Matty is no different to any of us, he is a human being with a family and yes he does have feelings? Clean up your backyard before you look in someone’s else!!!

  11. Rob (2:36pm),

    I think that media events like this clearly demonstrate the lack of “role models” Australia has when we look up to footballers, thus saying a lot about our decadent society today.

    In saying that, I believe these “ladies” & “gentlemen” both deserve eachother, so good luck to them.

  12. Good riddance to an odious piece of rubbish. How about he gives up the names of the others involved – fat chance of that.

    Am surprised Nine didn’t give him his own show as reward. Co-hosted with Gretel Killeen, it could have been called lock up your sons and daughters.

  13. omg get over it. if that girl consented to it all, then theres nothing wrong. shes the one who screwed around with 6 people, so why is the blame being put on matty johns?

  14. What they all did to that girl is disgusting, and channel Nine made the right choice in standing him down. But, I don’t think that poor girl will ever get over what’s happened to her

  15. Good. Frankly the entire culture in this country of putting sports stars on a pedestal because they can kick a ball, run fast, etc, is just despicable. I hope the other five get named and shamed as well. Just why people keep expecting higher moral integrity from these glorified adolescents is utterly beyond me. I totally agree with the other poster who said he seems sorry more for getting caught then the actual act itself. As for some of the other comments on this topic… Some of you people really ought to take a good look at your attitudes to women (both the male and female posters) and think long and hard about yourselves.

  16. Are we expected to believe that the first time that Channel 9,Melbourne Storm,David Gallop etc.,knew of this incident was when 4 corners done an expose on it?
    If any other business was to employ someone earning such big dollars and be completely oblivious to what was not a “secret”,their would be more then just John’s being stood down.
    For christsake i am sick of every thing in this country being treated as some huge unknown until the media breaks a story.
    Lets just get on with it and over it,we all know whats going to happen Channel 9 are legendary at it.
    Tabloid TV will do a fluff piece where he appears to be ready to commit Hari Kari,public opinion will swing after a mandatory cooling off period he’s back on again…..his brother and Sammy,well you know the story.

  17. Did anyone actually watch the 4 Corners story? I’m embarrassed to be a man after watching that. It was quite distressing for the girl involved and come on, she did not ask for that. Can’t believe that Matt didn’t apologise to the girl on air at all. Hope Tracy puts him through hell on ACA tonight.

    It’s a real f’d up culture in the NRL, that’s for sure.

  18. i personally think that what has happened to Matthew Johns is wrong!!! so he has had the boot!!! what about the other players that were involved? will the lose their careers too? i remeber not so long ago some of the bulldogs were accused of raping a young girl too but fancy that hey they are still on the field every week playing for their team… i mean come on unless you were a fly on that wall no one knows what really happened can you really trust the word of an embarassed girl, and anyway i have not heard the word rape mentioned yet just sex well they are 2 very different things!!! and if this girl was too stupid to report this earlier” about 7 years ago” thats her problem!!! Young girls do stupid S**t all the time.

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