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Dons deny any 'lure' in Goddard deal

Date

Jared Lynch

Flying straight: Essendon coach James Hird and chief executive Ian Robson yesterday.

Flying straight: Essendon coach James Hird and chief executive Ian Robson yesterday. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

THE AFL's investigator will determine if alleged talks about a potential third-party deal to lure Brendon Goddard to Essendon between the club and its former chairman needs further examination.

The Bombers snared Goddard in a four-year-deal believed to be worth $2.9 million on Monday, the first day of the AFL's first free agency period.

Former club chairman Ray Horsburgh is reported to have said he told Essendon he would give Goddard a job as it moved to lure the Saints star. Horsburgh is chairman of transport company Toll.

Essendon chief executive Ian Robson said the claims made in the Herald Sun were wrong and the club had followed the free agency process to the ''letter of the law''.

Under free agency rules a club is banned from enticing a rival player with third-party arrangements.

Robson said he had spoken with Horsburgh yesterday, but declined to reveal what was said. ''I can tell you that the process that we followed was very, very tight and it did not involve contact, communication, financial assistance in any way from a third party,'' Robson said.

''Obviously we're proud of the outcome but we're also proud of the tight manner in which we've gone about it. We would like to think that we have demonstrated complete respect for [Goddard and St Kilda].''

The AFL said investigations officer Ken Wood would decide if the matter needed further examination.

Goddard will meet Essendon teammates at an altitude training camp in Colorado next month.

Coach James Hird was confident the 27-year-old's signing would not push out any players at Windy Hill.

Essendon still has six free agents on its list who are yet to re-sign. Among them is Angus Monfries, who has been linked to a four-year deal with Port Adelaide.

Hird said he hoped Monfries would stay with Essendon and the club had given him an offer the coach believed was ''respectful''.

''We've had a lot of conversations with Gus, there's obviously a club out there that's pretty keen on him and he'll make a decision obviously in the next 10 days,'' Hird said. ''We'd love Angus to stay. He is a really valued member of our team and a very good team man.''

Goddard has been hailed as Essendon's biggest signing in 40 years, with the Bombers usually quiet in the October trade period.

Hird said the club had not changed its recruiting philosophy. ''We haven't made a decision to change. You look at opportunity. It's the value of a deal, really,'' he said.

''You look at what you've got to give up and what you get. We don't want to give up a lot of our own players, we think we are developing them in the right way. Obviously, in [Goddard's] case we didn't have to give up anything. It's a deal that comes with good things for us, we don't have to give anything up and St Kilda should get very well compensated with a first-round pick.

''I hope they get the best pick possible because Brendon Goddard is an outstanding player and then both clubs could walk away winners.''

Hird declined to weigh in on suggestions from St Kilda coach Scott Watters that Goddard's move to Windy Hill was all about money.

''What I do know is Brendon has come for opportunity and he's come to part of a successful team. I'm not saying St Kilda won't be that or can't be that, but that's what we've talked about,'' Hird said.

4 comments

  • Under the table dealings at Essendon? Pffft. They have a Spotless reputation. Must be a computer glitch.

    Commenter
    Jenz
    Date and time
    October 03, 2012, 8:07AM
    • I wonder if the AFL conducted the same due diligence on Judd's full-time position at Visy and the Additional Services Agreement that involved playing football for Carlton 22 times a year.

      Commenter
      DJCJ
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 03, 2012, 9:29AM
  • This is only the start of another the problem for the AFL and the beginning of the end of some of the lesser clubs. Players will move to the more successfully clubs which have the big wallets and a better chance of winning the grand final. The clubs will work around any salary cap issues by discarding the non performing players and also with third party deals. If the AFL thinks this will not happen they are kidding themselves.
    For example Brendon Goddard as suggested in this article was offered a job with Toll, what's to stop Toll offering a job next year or the year after that etc.. because as far as I know players can have other jobs outside of football, will the AFL then step in and stop player from having other jobs outside of footy i think not.

    AFL leave the game alone before you stuff it up, our game is unique we do not have to go the way of other sports where they only have a few teams that ever have any chance of winning the ultimate prize.

    Commenter
    Fed up 2
    Date and time
    October 03, 2012, 10:04AM
    • We still have a salary cap, so clubs like Port, Melbourne, etc who have players leave will then have large sums in reserve to target big names, or players starved of opportunity at better clubs to drag them off the bottom. I think Free Agency rewards good list management

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      October 03, 2012, 11:27AM
Comments are now closed
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