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Buddy bonanza

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Buddy Franklin heading for the Swans

The GWS Giants have withdrawn their bid for Lance Franklin with the knowledge he will accept an offer from the Sydney Swans.

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Lance Franklin's extraordinary nine-year, $10 million contract offer to join Sydney will see him paid a relatively low amount in his first years at the club while Kurt Tippett's sizeable contract tapers down.

The Swans are understood to have stretched the Franklin contract over nine years and structured it with relatively lower payments in the early years to allow them to afford Franklin and Tippett.

The AFL has launched an investigation into the Swans' audacious contract offer, observing that no contract is allowed to be made to a player until the free agency window opens on Friday.

That's worth celebrating: Lance Franklin with fellow Hawk Jarryd Roughead.

That's worth celebrating: Lance Franklin with fellow Hawk Jarryd Roughead. Photo: Getty Images

''As part of the review process by the AFL's Legal, Integrity and Compliance Department, key people involved in the proposed Franklin arrangement - at this stage a non-binding offer of a nine-year deal - will be interviewed in the coming days to ensure any agreements, arrangements or understandings that are to be entered into are in accordance with the AFL Rules and are not in breach of Rules relating to conduct prejudicial to the Draft, Player Movement Rules and/or the Total Player Payments provisions,'' AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said.

The bold move by the Swans, which blindsided Greater Western Sydney with an offer that is significantly bigger than their proposed deal of $1.2 million a year for six years, will still only see Hawthorn receive a compensatory first-round pick for the free agent.

The Franklin compensation pick would be after its first round selection in the draft, which would make it pick 18, but that would be likely to become pick 19 if Dale Thomas went to Carlton as a free agent and Collingwood received pick 11 as its compensation.

What awaits Lance Franklin in Sydney.

What awaits Lance Franklin in Sydney.

An AFL spokesman said the extraordinary length of the Swans' contract offer would not mean compensation could be greater than the pick following the club's first-round draft pick.

Hawthorn has been exploring ways of improving the compensation for Franklin but it would appear that could only be achieved if he were to be traded to the Swans rather than go as a free agent. The Swans are yet to re-sign premiership ruckman Shane Mumford, a player the Hawks had identified as a recruiting target, and he could form part of talks.

The Swans are expected to need to make room in their salary cap. Jesse White has told the club he wants to be traded to a Victorian club - probably Collingwood - and Mumford and young former first-round draft pick Jed Lamb are still unsigned. Mumford has not been offered a contract.

The Franklin contract would be the longest for a player since the Lions signed Alastair Lynch to a $1million, 10-year deal.

AFL clubs, already upset at the Sydney clubs' generous cost of living allowance which gives each of the two clubs almost an extra $1million a year in the salary cap to retain players, were irate at the latest move. The league said on Tuesday it was reviewing the cost-of-living allowance, along with all club and player allowances.

Giants CEO David Matthews said the club would never have stretched to the sorts of terms on offer by the Swans. ''We put forward what we believed to be both a sensible and attractive offer to Franklin. Contrary to media reports, that offer was $1.2 million a year over six years,'' he said.

The Giants were upset that they had not been informed during negotiations with Franklin that there was another club in similar serious negotiations.

33 comments so far

  • I have barracked for South Melbourne / Sydney Swans for 40 odd years. And I remember the years of finishing in the bottom half of the VFL ladder because our recruitment area was southern NSW! Whilst Carlton had Bendigo and Hawthorn had Frankston etc etc. But everyone thought that was fair! So I am happy to listen to you squeal as much as you like. It helps make up for the 50 odd years we had to suffer whilst you chalked up all your Premierships!

    Commenter
    The Bloods
    Date and time
    October 02, 2013, 8:27AM
    • The old zones were a joke. Hawthorn's 'country' zone was basically the Mornington Peninsula. Is it any wonder they won premierships thru the 70's and 80's as this area became a part of metropolitan Melbourne? That said the clubs still had to pick the talent. Gavin Brown was in Fitzroy's zone and ended up a Collingwood champion and premiership player because the Lions failed to sign him.

      Commenter
      Psi Cop
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 02, 2013, 9:57AM
    • past wrongs can't be fixed by new wrongs. many people weren't alive 40 years ago when South Melb had the problem you describe, and it is unfair to inflict new unfairness to the current generation of teams and their supporters just because of things that might have been unfair in past decades.

      Commenter
      C
      Date and time
      October 02, 2013, 10:24AM
    • I totally agree, everyone is crying over nothing, I'm a cats fan and I have no problem with this move, we lost Ablett to the Gold Coast so it was only a matter of time before another Victorian club lost one of their superstars. Buddy only kicked 3 goals over 3 finals games this year and although he is a good player he is certainly not the player that everyone beats him up to be. I cant see why Collingwood or Carlton would cry poor, both these teams have not lost any of their star players to expansion teams or any other team for that matter. Carlton with over 5 top ten draft picks and a superstar in C.Judd only have themselves to blame for such poor performances for the past 10 years, while on the other hand Sydney have made use of the Victorian Rejects like R.Shaw, T.Richards, M.Morton and so on they deserve a superstar after all their hard work and obviously have the money available to pay for one. So good luck to them !

      Commenter
      Geoff
      Date and time
      October 02, 2013, 10:34AM
    • Hi all. Hawks did a great job this your in identifying early that buddy was gone and played him in different roles in preparation for loosing him. If Sydney want to pay him this amount then fine. I wonder how the rest of the Sydney players, well what they have left, feel about this. This is now their cake and they have to eat it. Anything less than a flag next year, and the year after will egg on Sydney's face. When hannebery, jack, Kennedy and co want more cash you will see the fallout. For the hawks, buddy out and Spanger in, he played a good final against swans and VFL grand final. Laugh as you may as he came from the swans, could be some funny karma on the horizon. Buddy has freed up allot of cash for the hawks who also re signed those who want success. As dustin martin found out, it not about the player but the club, and richmond will prosper for it. but im so not sure why the swans think this is a good move. Good luck to buddy and thanks for the memories, and go hawks in 2014.

      Commenter
      Ray
      Date and time
      October 02, 2013, 11:27AM
    • Do you mean when they passed on Carey and Longmire?

      Commenter
      Heath
      Date and time
      October 02, 2013, 3:11PM
  • Remove the allowance, it is a time bomb, that would appear to have blown.
    The cost of living allowance was designed to support those from interstate on minimum wage such as rookies and 1-3 year players. This supported the Swans ability to retain them in their formulative years.
    Remove the allowance or place very specific criteria to it, and this will encourage the Swans to develop local talent (of which there seems to plenty) to whom the allowance does not apply. Then apply the same deal to Perth.

    Commenter
    Paul
    Location
    `Colac
    Date and time
    October 02, 2013, 8:33AM
    • The reality is that the allowance has nothing to do with cost of living. The allowance is compensation for the fact that Sydney is all about rugby league in a huge population catchment. If TV revenue is going to continue to grow, it must be viewed by increasingly larger audiences and the Sydney audience potential is huge. That is why Brisbane/Gold Coast does not have a cost of living despite also being rugby areas. The audience catchment size pales in comparison to Sydneys. Perth will never get compensation because AFL is the big game in town.
      So this has little do with AFL and everything to do with selling advertising space by television. If the AFL wants more money, then the Sydney market potential has to be realized by ensuring lots of Sydneysiders watch strong local AFL teams.

      Commenter
      Taras Bulba
      Date and time
      October 02, 2013, 11:15AM
  • 1st Question - WHY?
    2nd Question - What happens with players of Franklins calibre and BETTER on $250k/$400k,
    will they bark for equality and please don't let the contract fact have any thing to do with it.
    3rd Question - $190mil for 9 years, 9 years, give me a break.

    Commenter
    NITRO GANGSTER
    Date and time
    October 02, 2013, 8:51AM
    • Should be $10mil, "fat finger"

      Commenter
      NITRO GANGSTER
      Date and time
      October 02, 2013, 9:13AM

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Lance Franklin of the Hawks celebrates winning the 2013 AFL Grand Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Fremantle Dockers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 28, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) Buddy Franklin heading for the Swans

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