Victoria Police have reportedly widened their investigation of AFL umpire Michael Pell and the Brownlow Betting scandal to 2021.
Pell – who joined the league’s umpiring ranks at the beginning of 2021 – was one of four men arrested last month that was allegedly involved in the illegal betting activity.
The four men confirmed last month – two 32-year-old men from Glenroy, a 29-year-old man from Oak Park and a 27-year-old man from Drouin – were released from custody but expected to be charged on summons with using information to corrupt a betting event.
The Police have now included AFL games in 2021 where Pell was an emergency umpire, according to Nine News‘ Paddy Sweeney.
The investigation will now look at betting patterns throughout the year to identify any suspicious activity.
“Nine News can reveal officers are now looking at betting patterns in the 2021 season – that’s a year earlier than previously reported,” Sweeney said.
“AFL umpire Michael Pell was one of four men arrested last month in relation to suspicious activity on this year’s Brownlow count.
“What we now understand is games where umpire Pell was appointed as an emergency umpire in 2021, his first year on the AFL list, are also the focus of this police investigation.
“At this point Michael Pell has not been charged and nor has anyone else as this investigation continues.”
— 9News Perth (@9NewsPerth) December 5, 2022
It has been alleged that there were more than 10 games that bets were made on that Pell was an umpire, including two more as an emergency in 2022.
This included Queen’s Birthday Monday, where Brody Mihocek surprisingly received three votes, despite Clayton Oliver winning the Neale Daniher Trophy and Mason Cox narrowly missing out, says SEN.
The offence carries up to 10 years imprisonment.
AFL field umpires are equipped with the task of handing down the Brownlow votes, using a 3-2-1 system to recognise the game’s best player each year.