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Crows, Tippett caught in $200,000 rort

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New twist in Tippett probe

The AFL investigation into alleged draft tampering by Adelaide broadens to include accusations of salary cap cheating.

PT0M0S 620 349

ADELAIDE is believed to have guaranteed Kurt Tippett $200,000 outside of his contract and suggested the arrangement be kept secret from the league.

The AFL is investigating correspondence between the Crows and Tippett's management that refers to a list of companies that could provide the additional payments, not acknowledged in the three-year contract the forward signed in 2009.

The letter sent from former Crows football manager John Reid to Tippett's manager Peter Blucher is also understood to provide a guarantee the Crows would cover the money - split over two years - if it was not sourced via the third parties.

At the centre of much attention: Kurt Tippett.

At the centre of much attention: Kurt Tippett. Photo: Getty Images

Tippett's immediate future was in limbo last night, with a trade to Sydney or any other club unlikely to be approved ahead of the conclusion of the three-week trade period at 2pm today.

It is not necessarily relevant whether Adelaide paid Tippett the extra money, however the The Age believes the Crows would have had room in their salary cap to cover the $200,000, had they chosen to include it.

It is also understood there was a clear recommendation in the letter to Blucher that the AFL not be told of the arrangement.

Adelaide is also under pressure after admitting it agreed to trade Tippett to the club of his choice for a second-round pick, a side deal that was not disclosed to the league and could lead to the club being punished for draft manipulation.

Contrary to some media reports, the Crows have assured the investigation it does not involve Joel Tippett's move to Adelaide this year. Joel, Kurt's younger brother, played for West Adelaide this season after being delisted by Gold Coast.

Late yesterday there had been no significant contact between the Crows and Swans, with Adelaide officials ceasing to pursue any trade. Other clubs contacted the league yesterday seeking clarification on the state of the investigation and the risk involved with seeking to trade for Tippett, who seems destined for the draft.

Adelaide and Sydney had agreed last Friday that the Crows would trade Tippett for Sydney's pick 23 and forward Jesse White, who played just three games last season. The commercial value of that deal had been queried around AFL headquarters.

White had done a medical screening at Adelaide but the deal was pulled by the Crows before the paperwork could be lodged after White's meeting with coach Brenton Sanderson. The Crows would have

had to cull a player to fit White on their list. Sanderson is understood to have expressed reservations to president Rob Chapman, who met chief executive Steven Trigg about an hour after his return from Europe on Friday.

The club then contacted AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou to confess to the side deal and offer to open their books up to the league.

The Crows were then pressured by the Tippett camp to complete the trade, with a letter from lawyers representing the 25-year-old threatening Supreme Court intervention if Adelaide did not adhere to its promise to trade him to his chosen club.

That side agreement was also referred to in the 2009 correspondence, not included in Tippett's contract and not disclosed to the league until Friday. Adelaide had believed Tippett would want to go home to Queensland, if anywhere, but instead he accepted a $4 million, four-year offer from Sydney.

Details of the trade deal, first reported in The Age in August last year, were known to officials at most clubs. The alleged salary cap breaches and the agreement to trade him for a second-round draft pick - which could constitute a manipulation of the AFL's draft process - has the club, Tippett and his management company facing major sanctions.

The club could be stripped of draft picks for up to four years in the worst-case scenario and could also face heavy fines if found to have broken the AFL's rules.

Tippett may face a suspension and/or fine, and could even be deregistered if found to be complicit in any rule breaking, with his manager and management company, Velocity Sports, also under pressure.

50 comments

  • I hope he gets drafted by Port Adelaide-- teach him a lesson and have him stuck in ah hem, that same city...

    Commenter
    deliveryboy
    Date and time
    October 26, 2012, 7:52AM
    • I just struggle to believe this news. Footie has been one of the few codes around the world that has been transparent about its game. And as a result has almost eliminated the social and financial issues that beset most codes.

      Commenter
      Andy
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 26, 2012, 8:10AM
    • This is why my family extended and beyond don't go to the turnstile and watch football, overpaid narcisstic players and a ticket to get in to a ground you need to get a loan for.

      Commenter
      Pickled Herring
      Location
      Frankston
      Date and time
      October 26, 2012, 9:11AM
    • Sorry to burst your bubble Andy, but industry insders know that practically all clubs seal deals with actions outside the salary cap. It's just that only a few get caught and reported on that the viewpoint of a transparent system is in place.

      When people are running a multi-million dollar organisation that many administrators have a parochial and emotional involvement in, it's naive to think they don't do everything inside and outside the rules to win.

      Commenter
      MDF
      Date and time
      October 26, 2012, 10:39AM
    • Pickled herring, a ticket costs 25 bucks and 11 game membership is under $200. AFL is the cheapest afternoon entertainment going around in a city full of $5 coffees, and IMO its the best sport to watch live. And most players are not as you describe, the majority of the top players resign with their club each year despite larger offers coming from other clubs

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      October 26, 2012, 1:29PM
  • Ka$h Tippett could do with a healthy dose of reality and a season on the sidelines. And any club paying him the kind of money he's been on deserves santions for stupidity.

    Commenter
    mark
    Date and time
    October 26, 2012, 8:11AM
    • @deliveryboy, not much point wasting a first round pick on a player that doesn't want to be there. Port already has Boak and others for that. As I see it, Swans will get him for a first round pick in the draft, Jesse White will be delisted and Adelaide will get nothing via a trade, which serves them. They should have just traded the guy and kept their mouths shut, now they will get draft sanctions and go through several years of the bottom feeding "blues" as a result. With the way Port is at the moment it is going to be a great few years coming up for AFL footy in SA.

      Commenter
      Mark
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      October 26, 2012, 8:15AM
      • @Mark, the way it's looking, he won't be going anywhere except in the draft, so he still might get to Sydney...but it will be GWS..hahahah serves the greedy bugger right.

        Commenter
        Daz
        Location
        Archies Creek
        Date and time
        October 26, 2012, 9:35AM
      • Carlton were already wooden spooners when they got the draft penalties. Any punishment Adelaide receive is unlikely to do much damage.

        Commenter
        Andrew S
        Date and time
        October 26, 2012, 9:38AM
    • Given greed has driven his decision making process, best penalty for him is to be de-registered for a year as a punishment for deliberately breaching the rules and Adelaide to miss all draft picks for this year.

      We have seen clubs pay heavy penalties for this type of behavior. Now we need an individual to suffer the same pain. Greed and cheating have no place in any sport - look at cycling. Different action - same result. Cheating is cheating. It is not reliant on use or non-use of drugs. Cheats need to be rubbed out.

      Commenter
      Gerry
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      October 26, 2012, 8:42AM

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