Underworld enforcer Mick Gatto has claimed a senior official of the Essendon Football Club approached him at the height of the drugs saga to find out what was going on with it all.

The Bombers are locked in a bitter legal battle with Dean Wallis, dual premiership hero, and ex-team manager John Elliott — the latter alleging that bosses reached out to Gatto. The father of Elliott remarked he in late 2014 had a cafe meeting with a senior Bombers official (whom Bombers denied had dealings with Gatto) who had asked him to arrange a meeting with the Carlton identity.

Previously, it was reported by the Herald Sun that Elliott Jr. had alleged in a signed statement as part of a compensation action that he was asked to set up a meeting off-site with Mick Gatto, an external well-known dispute resolution specialist in November 2014. Elliott Jr. had also commented that the purpose of the meeting was in regard to obtaining information from Shane Charter, who was a supplier to Stephen Dank.

However, Bombers chairman Lindsay Tanner insisted it was Gatto who came to the club offering help, and he was knocked back. Tanner remarked allegations of an official having dealings with Mick Gatto are false. The claims of Tanner were rejected by Elliott Sr. who said he was asked to set up a meeting with Gatto in a meeting at The Delicious Afare cafe in Strathmore held with the official in late 2014. Elliott Sr. added a third party could verify that cafe rendezvous and also commented that he organized a meeting within three days but the Essendon official pulled out due to another commitment. Elliott Sr. also remarked he told Gatto that the meeting would not go ahead as planned and also remarked the official later said he did not wish to proceed with the meeting and that was the end of it.

Tanner dismissed the allegations of Elliott as the acts of disgruntled ex-employees who have made a number of false and unsubstantiated allegations against the club. Tanner added allegations of dealings with Mick Gatto are false and also remarked inappropriate demands and threats made upon Essendon Football Club have been reported to the AFL Integrity Department Victoria Police have been contacted on its advice. Tanner did not respond to the claims of Elliott Sr. regarding Gatto but remarked he is advised by his predecessor Paul Little that he was approached by Mick Gatto offering his assistance and this offer was declined.

Gatto said he did get embroiled in it and he was approached. The underworld enforcer in an interview by The Footy Show star Sam Newman at a Lygon St restaurant said it would not be very professional of him to divulge who he met and added they just wanted me to find out what was going on with it all and what he could find out and have a feel around.

Police is presently investigating a “report of a blackmail matter” after it was remarked by the Bombers that they had lodged a complaint regarding alleged threats.

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