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Crows penalties announced

Grim news: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick and Football Operations Manager Adrian Anderson.

Grim news: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick and Football Operations Manager Adrian Anderson. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Jake Niall: Crows treated leniently

The outcomes of the Kurt Tippett contract investigation have been anounced by the AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick at AFL House, after a marathon hearing.

  • Adelaide has been fined $300,000 and prohibited from the first two rounds of the 2013 draft and from gaining father-son picks at that draft. The club can use first or second round picks if they are obtained by a trade.
Kurt Tippett.

Kurt Tippett. Photo: Paul Rovere

  • Steven Trigg has been fined $50,000 and given 12 months suspension, meaning he cannot attend games or training or have any dealings with an AFL club.
  • John Reid has been given a similar 12 months suspension.
  • Phil Harper received a two months sentence on the same terms.
AFL commissioner Bill Kelty arrives for the Tippett hearing.

AFL commissioner Bill Kelty arrives for the Tippett hearing. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

  • Kurt Tippett was suspended from the pre-season competition and from 11 AFL matches, with another 11 matches suspended for five years.

The Crows had been predicted to be penalised more heavily, with draft picks at multiple drafts and a bigger fine expected. Fitzpatrick noted the full co-operation of the club in the investigation, its previously unblemished record, its guilty plea, the fact it voluntarily gave up its first two draft picks at the recently completed national draft, and its expressions of remorse as factors taken into account when considering the penalties.

Fitzpatrick labelled Adelaide's actions in circumventing the league's draft and salary cap rules as "very disappointing" and promised that any such breaches will be penalised.

AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson arrives at AFL House.

AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson arrives at AFL House. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

"I want to send a message to all 18 clubs and all supporters around the country so that everybody understands our position," he said.

"Any club engaging in conduct prejudicial to the draft or a scheme involving payments to players in contravention of our rules will be penalised."

Fitzpatrick said the commission took into account that Tippett could yet join reigning premier Sydney on a $3.55 million, four-year contract, but could not impose sanctions on something that was yet to happen.

"Our view was to look at the sanction relating to the offence, and beyond that we weren’t prepared to intervene in other mechanisms. So if that’s what happens, that’s what happens," he said.

Demetriou spoke glowingly of Trigg, saying he had made a stupid mistake but he would be welcomed back into the industry after serving his punishment. he went so far as to urge Crows supporters to forgive Trigg and his fellow officials, who had served Adelaide so well for so long. He asked for the football world to grant the offenders a second chance.

Demetriou said that the role of Tippett's manager Peter Blucher in the affair should be investigated by the AFL Player's Association.

After the league officials spoke, Trigg read a statement in which he said the club had never exceeded its salary cap. He said his penalty was "extraordinarily tough".

"The club has paid a very high price for an error of judgement."

He said he wants to retain involved in football and at Adelaide.

He said the saga had been a "setback" for Adelaide, but he said the club had put measures in place that would enable it to "galvanise his club" for the future.

Club chairman Rob Chapman said he was pleased the matter had been "resolved and concluded". He said "the integrity of the game was paramount" and the Crows accepted the AFL's sanctions.

"None of us can tolerate any breaches of the rules, unintended or not..." he said.

Chapman insited that the breaches were not systemic and the club had made a disclosure voluntarily once it realised its wrongdoing.

He said Adelaide was "on the road to a strong and successful future."

A club statement read: "The board and management of the Adelaide Football Club apologise to everyone associated with the club - staff, players, members, sponsors and supporters."

Kurt Tippett also released a statement about the saga.

"I trusted the Adelaide Football Club and for the duration of my contract I did my utmost for the Club on and off the field. It is bitterly disappointing, then, to learn that my trust and best endeavours have been to my substantial detriment.
 
"Only during the recent AFL trade period did I learn that some terms in the Adelaide offer may have contravened AFL rules, and since that point I and all parties associated with me have co-operated fully with the AFL in its investigations.
 
"I have nothing to hide and have only refrained from media comment in recent weeks on legal advice and out of respect for the AFL investigation process. Through my legal representative I asked for an open hearing today in the hope that the truth would be revealed.
 
Tippett said he pleaded guilty to the two charges "on advice without any admission of liability" despite being assured there were valid defences available to him.

Sydney released a statement reaffirming their desire to select Tippett in the upcoming pre-season draft.

"Although today’s decision is obviously a disappointing setback for Kurt, we have always seen Kurt as a long-term player," Swans general manager of football Dean Moore said.

"We will go to the pre-season draft with the intention of selecting him if he’s available at our pick."

Fitzpatrick said the commission felt Adelaide’s breaches were not systematic and that the sanctions imposed on Trigg were appropriate.

"I don’t think he was happy about it, but I think he felt it was reasonable," he said.

"There is always enormous pressures on chief executives and football managers. That’s always been true but the vast majority of them obey the rules. Clearly Steven would like to have his time again on this one. There are occasions when the pressure seems overwhelming but the rules and the rules and they have to be obeyed."

The AFLPA released a statement expressing concern at the severity of the penalty handed to Tippett, and confirming it will investigate the involvement of his Accredited Agent, Peter Blucher, in relation to whether his conduct was in breach of the Regulations Governing Accredited Agents.

"The AFLPA Agent Accreditation Board now has the responsibility to investigate the role of the agent involved.   The Agent Accreditation Board will aim to deal with the matter in a timely manner, whilst following due process and providing the agent natural justice," said Prendergast.

The marathon AFL Commission hearing into the saga ended after nearly nine hours, with Adelaide officials and Tippett leaving AFL house just before 5pm on Friday afternoon.

Tippett, the Crows, their chief executive Steven Trigg, football operations manager Phil Harper and his predecessor John Reid were facing a total of 11 charges.

These all involve draft tampering and salary cap breaches and stem from the three-year deal that Tippett signed with Adelaide in 2009.

Tippett has nominated for the December 11 pre-season draft and depending on what the commission decides on his two charges, he is most likely to join Sydney.

The hearing started at 8am (AEDT).

There was speculation that all parties would plead guilty to their charges in the hope of lighter penalties and there was no indication why the hearing was taking so long.

Adelaide gave up their first two picks last week in the national draft last week, hoping the commission would take that into account when deciding on a penalty.

Reid no longer works directly in the AFL, while the futures of Trigg and Harper at Adelaide were dependant on the commission's verdicts.

Tippett has officially left Adelaide and hopes to join Sydney through the December 11 pre-season draft.

It is understood the Swans are prepared to offer Tippett a four-year deal, with more than $3.5 million.

Prominent Melbourne QC David Galbally represented Tippett at the hearing.

Kurt Tippett, 25, has played 104 games for Adelaide since 2008, with no less than 18 in any of his five completed seasons.

At 202cm, he is useful as a ruckman and hard to stop when in form as a marking target up forward. A Queenslander who didn't grow up playing Aussie Rules, Tippett has shown great potential but agruably not yet reached the heights expected of his physique and talent.

He has kicked 188 goals, 39 of them this season. In 2009, in just his second season, he booted a mouth-watering 55 goals. At the end of 2009, he was homesick for the Gold Coast, and appeared a crucial key position signing for the Crows' forward line. The club went to extraordinary lengths to ensure his future lay in Adelaide.

As it turned out, they went too far, and compromised that future with the reckless deals they struck in order to keep Tippett in Adelaide.

After two less imposing seasons, Tippett's shock revelation that he wanted to leave Adelaide for reigning premier Sydney, not Gold Coast, led to the revelation the Crows had breached AFL rules when contracting him in 2009.

with Adam Cooper and AAP

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Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
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SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
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ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
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Round 2
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GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
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GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
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CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
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HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
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Round 4
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RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
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ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
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BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
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Round 5
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CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
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RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
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ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
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NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
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CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
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Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
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WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 32vs CAR 10 LIVE Stats
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HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
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ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
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COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
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ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
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GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
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Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
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GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
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NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
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COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 16:40ES
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Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
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GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
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SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
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Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
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COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
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RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
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ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
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Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
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Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
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MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
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Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
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MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
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COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
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ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
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COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
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MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
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STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
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West Coast Eagles 8 6 2 0 158.17 24
Sydney Swans 8 6 2 0 127.36 24
GWS Giants 8 6 2 0 118.87 24
Collingwood 8 5 3 0 129.90 20
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Richmond 8 4 4 0 107.64 16
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