Masterchef judge and restaurateur George Calombaris has had a
tough few weeks.
First came revelations in early April that nearly 200 staff at
his restaurants were underpaid a total of $2.6 million due to
what he called “historically poor processes”.
Then his football team, Melbourne Victory, lost the penalty
shootout to Sydney FC in the A-League grand final at Allianz
Stadium in Sydney (Calombaris is the team’s number
one ticket holder).
It’s when those two issues collided that things got a little
SBS The World Game The views
that were exchanged had been pre-heated to at least 180
Here’s what happened. Calombaris was chatting with A-League
chief David Gallop and others in the middle of the arena after
the match when fans started abusing him.
— SBS – The World Game (@TheWorldGame) May
“Pay your staff you dodgy bastard,” one fan appeared to yell.
Calombaris clearly didn’t much care for this and/or other
comments emanating from that area of the crowd. So he went over
to vent his spleen. He also appeared to push a fan. At this
point, police ushered Calombaris away from the scene.
By Monday morning, the 38-year-old chef famous for his
Greek-inspired cuisine had served up a big slice of humble
spanakopita. In a statement, he said:
“I am really disappointed with what occurred last night. I
was genuinely shocked when post-match football banter turned
into personal abuse about my family.
“I regret the way in which I reacted, I am disappointed that
I let it get to me, and I sincerely apologise for offending
anyone. While I am not proud of my reaction to the situation,
I was offended by a spectator yelling out abusive and
derogatory comments about my family.
“I have spoken to Melbourne Victory FC and Football
Federation Australia today to report the situation and I’m
truly sorry that this has happened.”
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