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Alastair Clarkson breaks his silence on Hawthorn allegations

Alastair Clarkson has denied allegations about his behavior at Hawthorn after North Melbourne confirmed their new manager’s start time at the club would be delayed due to an AFL investigation.

Clarkson, 54, and Brisbane manager Chris Fagan are the subject of allegations over their dealings with several Indigenous players and their families while at Hawthorn.

A report from ABC Sport claims the review Hawthorn commissioned includes allegations regarding Clarkson, claiming that a player is pressuring his partner to terminate her pregnancy and end their relationship.

And now Clarkson has issued his first statement following the allegations, insisting he was “shocked” by the claims made against him and has refuted them.

“The health, care and welfare of our players, staff and their families have always been my highest priorities during my time at Hawthorn Football Club,” Clarkson said.

“I was therefore shocked by the extremely serious allegations that were reported in the media today. I was not interviewed by the authors of the report commissioned by the club, nor was I provided with a copy of the report.

“I have not been given due process and I deny any allegation of wrongdoing or wrongdoing and look forward to the opportunity to be heard as part of the AFL external inquiry.

“I contacted the President of North Melbourne Football Club today and we have agreed that I will step down from my responsibilities at the club so I can fully cooperate with the investigation.”

Previously, North Melbourne confirmed Clarkson’s start date at the club – previously scheduled for November 1 – has been pushed back.

“North Melbourne Football Club is aware of the serious historical allegations that have been made against those who have worked at Hawthorn Football Club, including new North Melbourne manager Alastair Clarkson,” the statement said.

“The matters raised are now with the AFL’s Integrity Unit and Alastair welcomes the opportunity to cooperate in investigations related to the allegations.

“Alastair was due to begin work with North Melbourne on November 1, but he will delay the start of his term to allow sufficient time to fully engage in the investigation.

“Given that the matters raised are confidential and the investigation is ongoing, the club will not be making any further comments at this time.”

North’s statement follows an announcement by Brisbane that Fagan will be “on leave” from the club to allow him to “fully cooperate” with an independent investigation announced by the AFL.

Fagan was devastated by the allegations and said he was unaware of the alleged meetings raised by players in the report, according to the Herald Sun.

A Hawks player, identified only as “Ian” in the ABC report, made chilling allegations against the team’s senior coaches.

“Clarkson just bent over me and demanded that I get rid of my unborn child and my partner,” he claimed.

“I was then manipulated and persuaded to remove my SIM card from my phone so there would be no further contact between my family and myself.

“He told me to kill my unborn child.”

It is claimed that Ian’s partner Amy was left in deep shock when she heard the news.

“He could barely get the words out and he seemed to be crying, and he was quick to say we needed to terminate the pregnancy and end the relationship,” she said in the report.

Amy went on to claim the club separated her from Ian during the first five months of her pregnancy – so she couldn’t call or text him, which affected his mental health.

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