Bitterly disappointed: Kurt Tippett leaves the hearing. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
KURT Tippett's demeanour at Friday's hearing of his draft and salary cap breaches cost him $25,000, as the AFL Commission hearing concluded with Adelaide and its former forward remaining bitterly divided over their roles in the illegal deal.
As the Crows and officials Steven Trigg, Phil Harper and John Reid were punished for their part in the secret contract, struck with their ''homesick'' player in 2009 and covered up until two months ago, Tippett was suspended for half of next season and fined $50,000.
It is understood that the commission accepted every punishment recommended by the league's football operations team, except for the one suggesting half of Tippett's fine for his part in the side contract be suspended.
The league instead applied the full amount to the forward, who issued a statement through the strongly supportive AFL Players Association on Friday night expressing his ''bitter'' disappointment with the club that drafted him in 2006.
In further fallout, Adelaide chairman Rob Chapman confirmed Fairfax Media's report that chief executive Trigg was asked about Tippett's contract during a board meeting and that the board considered the contract to be AFL-approved.
He said the board was not aware of the facilitated and underwritten third-party payments worth $200,000 the club promised Tippett and pointed out that it was football manager Phil Harper, not Trigg, who brought the illegal contract to his attention in mid-October.
As the suspended Trigg claimed Adelaide had been ''trying to meet Tippett's desire'' for the Crows to help him reach the club of his choice when it agreed to an undisclosed ''exit clause'' in his three-year contact extension, the forward said he had trusted the club.
''Only during the recent AFL trade period did I learn that some terms in the Adelaide offer may have contravened AFL rules,'' said Tippett, whose manager Peter Blucher will now come under AFLPA scrutiny.
Tippett will make his way to Sydney via the pre-season draft with the Swans, who have offered him a $3.55 million, four-year offer, on Friday night reiterating their desire to draft him. He will miss Sydney's clash with Adelaide at AAMI Stadium by one week.
Trigg refused to take questions after reading a prepared statement about his part in what he termed a ''truly unique situation'' and ''error of judgment'' that he was sorry for. He said it was ''impossible'' not to feel his penalty was ''extraordinarily tough. Obviously an example has been set.''
The apologetic Chapman was accepting of the sanctions, to which the club pleaded guilty after calling AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou to confess to the agreement with Tippett late in the trade period.
He said Adelaide was already well into a planned administrative restructure, and said the club had some time to consider Trigg's position and ''take into account everything that occurred today'' given his six-month ban does not start until January 1. He said Trigg had been asked about Tippett's contract in the August 2011 board meeting after ''whispers'' of the exit clause but that information about the promised independent agreements was ''never revealed'' until Harper brought it up.
''The answer we got was satisfactory to the board that we weren't breaching any rules, that it existed in a contract and that contract by definition must have been registered with the AFL,'' Chapman said.
''It was quite an innocuous discussion. We didn't think too much about it then because we didn't think there was anything wrong.''
Adelaide was fined $300,000 and banned from the first and second rounds of next year's national draft, however the club will be allowed to use any first- or second-round choices it acquires through trading or free agency.
The Crows' decision to hand back their first two picks in last week's draft, at the suggestion of the AFL, was taken into account when the penalties were framed by football operations manager Adrian Anderson and legal counsel Jeff Gleeson.
Demetriou said Trigg was a man of ''immense ability'' who deserved a second chance after making a ''grave error'' he had been punished for, with commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick adding: ''Our view is, they need to serve their time.''
Of Tippett, Fitzpatrick said: ''I think by pleading guilty he's clearly taken some responsibility for it … He made us aware of a variety of facts and his impression of how the transaction was put together and I think that was clearly understood by the commission.''