The biggest prize in Australian sport is under threat. The Frownlow Medal and its hall of fame could be breached by former A-League player Con Boutsianis.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL star Manase Fainu is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Boutsianis was caught with plans, blueprints and classified security deals of The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, which is more highly protected than Parliament House, The Lodge and Kirribilli House.
The discovery earned Boutsianis a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, and increases his chances of induction. He was already in contention after being fined $20,000 for being the getaway driver in the armed robbery of Shark Fin Chinese restaurant in Melbourne in 1998.
Police were informed of his recent location and carried out a dawn riad on the property, keeping The Frownlow Medal safe – for the time being.
The former Socceroo avoided conviction for the 1998 robbery and was given a good behaviour bond as he claims he helped police with their investigation. He also told media outlets after the robbery that he became involved at the insistence of a friend who was a gambling addict and owed him money.
Regardless of his level of culpability, or how much he loves Chinese food, judges of The Frownlow Medal have since increased security at the hall of fame in order to protect the most sought-after prize in Australian sport.