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January 17, 2022

The Football Club cancels Splendour gig over sex scandal

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Melbourne band and JJJ unearthed winners The Football Club. Photo Sam Orchard
Melbourne band and JJJ unearthed winners The Football Club. Photo Sam Orchard

Melbourne band The Football Club have announced they have suspended all upcoming performances, including a gig at Splendour in the Grass, while they deal with sex abuse allegations brought against frontwoman Ruby Markwell.

The band were to play as JJJ’s Unearthed competition winners but withdrew after news of the allegations broke on social media last week.

JJJ has yet to announce whether it will replace the band at Splendour but has issued a statement saying that pulling out was ‘the right course of action’.

‘Following allegations made against the band online over the last few days, The Football Club will be withdrawing from all future shows, including their appearance at Splendour In The Grass. triple j Unearthed believes this is the right course of action at this time,’ the statement said.

The radio station also defended claims it had been attempting to ‘silence’ feedback around the allegations, saying, ‘There’s been talk about us removing posts relating to our winning Splendour band. We can’t display any posts or comments that are potentially defamatory.’

In a statement, the band say the allegations made against ‘members of The Football Club’ are ‘untrue and defamatory’.

‘These statements are without any foundation, designed to cause harm to the reputation of The Football Club and its members, and The Football Club absolutely deny them,’ they say.

The Football Club say that Markwell is herself ‘a victim of sexual assault’, and that the group find the allegations against them ‘horrifying in nature, and completely untrue in content’.

‘The band has worked tirelessly to be a voice for the LGBTQI community and for victims of sexual assault, and feel that these statements are an unjustified and unfair attempt to undermine their positive work,’ they say.

‘We urge anyone who is the victim of assault to seek support and advice through the appropriate channels.’

Following the allegations surfacing, Football Club guitarist Leah Romero announced she would be leaving the band.

In a public statement, Romero said: ‘In light of the recent allegations I have decided to no longer continue with The Football Club.

‘These allegations are incredibly serious and though have been vehemently denied, I will still be departing from the band. I believe that Ruby and everyone involved need to focus on resolving this situation through the appropriate channels, and that the band comes completely secondary to this.

‘I will be donating 100 per cent of my part of royalties and earnings from the band to The Royal Womens Hospital Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA House), who give support to victims of sexual assault.’

Splendour in the Grass organisers have declined to comment.

If you have been affected in any way by these or similar events, contact Lifeline (13 11 14), 1800Respect (1800 737 732), the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467), beyondblue (1300 224 636) or QLife (1800 184 527).


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