Pies clear Dane Swan over ‘Gatto link’

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 12 Juni 2014 | 12.50

Eddie McGuire said he will "chat" to Dane Swan about the event attended by Mick Gatto. Source: News Corp Australia

COLLINGWOOD boss Gary Pert says Dane Swan did not deceive the club over his attendance at a fundraising event with links to former underworld figure Mick Gatto.

Swan was the star attraction at a $200-a-head dinner attended by 50 people on Tuesday at Gatto Nero, a Coburg pizza restaurant majority-owned by Gatto's brother John, Fairfax Media reports.

Mick Gatto and several of his friends attended the event.

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The Pies have no issues with Swan's attendance, and have spoken to the AFL multiple times in the last 24 hours to assure the league there are no concerns.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has also brushed aside Fairfax's report.

There were reports that Swan had told the club his manager Liam Pickering had booked the event - but that Pickering actually had no idea.

But Pert said the Brownlow Medallist had events manager Scott McConville as well as business manager Pickering.

Gary Pert and Eddie McGuire both say Dane Swan has done nothing wrong. Source: Getty Images

He said Swan had not misinformed the club in any way - he had told them it was booked by his agent, and he had little idea who would be at the event.

"We are very comfortable with the speaking engagements Dane Swan does at multiple venues,'' he told the Herald Sun.

"Scott McConville is his speaking manager and he booked it. By all reports those events are very well attended and successful events.

"Swanny gives his time signing autographs with Collingwood fans and families and we have never had an issue with them."

The AFL has warned players and clubs not to associate with underworld figures out of concern organised crime could infiltrate the game.

However it seems unlikely the AFL will act on the issue given it was vastly different to Richmond player Jake King's ongoing friendship with ex-bikie boss Toby Mitchell.

King brought Mitchell into the Richmond rooms last year, with the AFL strongly recommending he cut ties with Mitchell.

Former underworld figure Mick Gatto says "there's nothing in it". Source: News Limited

Eddie McGuire with Dane Swan and his partner Taylor Wilson at the 2010 Brownlow. Source: News Limited

McGuire told Southern Cross Austereo it wasn't surprising Swan knew some colourful identities given his working class upbringing.

"You go to the footy one day, you go to the races, go to the opera you'll meet people from all walks of life," McGuire told Triple M's The Hot Breakfast today.

"So from my point of view as long as Swanny is walking the tightrope correctly, so long as he informs people what's going on, so long as he doesn't get himself into trouble then I don't see to much of a problem with this situation."

McGuire, who was speaking from Italy, said he'll have a chat with Swan about the photos.

"I'm not being flippant about it, I'll talk to Swanny when I get back or when he gets up this morning at some stage just to check out exactly what's going on," McGuire said.

Gatto told ABC Radio that "there's nothing in it".

"I wasn't an organiser, nothing to do with me at all," he told broadcaster Jon Faine.

"I went there and bought a table. I filled the table with elderly friends of mine, non-underworld figures. We listened to Swanny talk about football and had an auction and that was it."

Gatto said he had "no idea" how much Swan was paid for the event.

"I go to these sportsmen nights all the time. Most of the football players that speak at them they come over and say hello. There is nothing in it.

"Dane Swan is a real champion of a man, he has spent time with elderly people and with children. He came over briefly and said hello to me, I asked him for a photo and that was it.

"I can't understand why the carry on with all this nonsense. There is never a problem until the media makes it a problem."

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