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Clubs unhappy with free agent compo picks

THE compensation pick a club receives for losing a free agent should not be tied to that club's finishing position, some AFL clubs say, and others even support scrapping compensation all together.

These are among thoughts raised as Hawthorn confirmed it was told it had no right of appeal over the relatively weak compensation received (pick 66) for losing premiership midfielder Clinton Young.

''The AFL has confirmed there is no appeal process so we look forward to putting our thoughts on this in the review that will be undertaken into free agency and the exchange period,'' Hawthorn football manager Mark Evans said yesterday.

''I think we need to assess the equity of the compensation system. We understand that it is not supposed to completely compensate for the loss of a player, but there needs to be equity within that system.''

The disparity of compensation because of ladder position can magnify disparities: Troy Chaplin attracted a second-round pick while Young got a third round, which meant Port received pick 31 for losing Chaplin and Hawthorn got 66 for Young.

Other clubs are frustrated that they were penalised in draft terms for deals that had nothing to do with them as their draft position was weakened by other clubs being compensated for losing free agents.


''The only preliminary thought I have on the way free agency works at the moment is that the clubs not dealing in free agents can be disadvantaged by compensation picks, but we certainly understand that losing a top player deserves compensation of some sort,'' Evans said.

There was support among some clubs to abandon the idea of compensation at all, with Geelong chief executive Brian Cook saying clubs were already compensated sufficiently by salary cap relief, which provided the opportunity to recruit another free agent.

''I have a principle that we should not necessarily be compensated, as clubs, for losing free agents, but I'm not sure that would be shared by everyone outside,'' he told the AFL website.

''The rightful compensation for losing a free agent is to get another one back in, really.''