St George Illawarra Dragons have been forced to apologise after Chairman of the club Craig Young wrote a court reference for Brett Finch using the club’s letterhead.
Brett Finch, formerly of Wigan Warriors and a State of Origin star, has suffered a fall from grace and pleaded guilty to one count of using a carriage service to make available child abuse material and is subsequently facing jail time.
Young submitted a glowing reference for Finch and gave evidence at his sentencing this week.
Young himself is a former police officer but used the club’s letterhead to write his character reference for the controversial figure of Finch in a decision that has angered the club and prompted them to release a statement.
The statement read:
“The St George Illawarra Dragons are aware of a letter from Chairman Craig Young on club letterhead supporting Brett Finch in his ongoing court case.
“This statement was provided in a personal capacity and was not supported or approved by the club.”
Young himself has apologised.
“It was an error in judgement to put this statement on club letterhead,” Young said.
“I was asked to provide a letter of support to a family friend who I believe made a serious mistake but is a fundamentally decent person.
“I should not have connected the club to this matter and would like to apologise to members, fans, sponsors and all other stakeholders for any distress caused.”
Young will step down as Chairman but Chief Executive Ryan Webb has said that this was not related to this incident and simply part of the club’s cycle.