Future teammates ... Sydney's Ted Richards chases Hawthorn's Lance Franklin. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
The Swans would not have recruited superstar Lance Franklin had captain Jarrad McVeigh not approved in July of the club's blockbuster signing.
The Swans captain was sounded out on behalf of the club's leaders by the football department mid-season about the idea of recruiting Franklin and chief executive Andrew Ireland said if he had not given the move the green light the club would have abandoned its pursuit of the dual premiership star.
Jarrad McVeigh and Lance Franklin scrap for the ball during the 2011 finals. Photo: Pat Scala
Ireland indicated that the club had confined its discussion about the Franklin deal to just McVeigh rather than the entire leadership group for the sake of the secrecy needed to get the deal done.
''About July, we did say to Lance that, whilst we wanted to keep it in a small group and we wouldn't take it to the full leadership group, we did want to speak to one person, which he said was fine. And so Jarrad McVeigh, we used as a sounding board,'' Ireland told 3AW.
''Jarrad was 100 per cent supportive of us going ahead with it and it is fair to say, if Jarrad hadn't given us that tick, we might not have proceeded.''
Franklin has now become a Swans player after the AFL completed an investigation into the extraordinary nine-year, $10 million deal and the Hawks required hours - and not the three days permitted - to decide not to match the phenomenal terms.
Hawthorn will receive a compensatory draft pick after its first-round pick - No.18 today - but that selection will likely move back in the draft when Collingwood receives a compensation pick for Dale Thomas' move to Carlton.
The Swans must include Franklin's contract terms in its salary cap in each of the nine years of the life of the contract and regardless of how many years Franklin plays for. So, even if Franklin were to retire after five years, the Swans must absorb in their salary cap whatever amount Franklin was due to be paid in each of those subsequent four years.
The AFL spent a week investigating the contract. The AFL demanded certain written guarantees from the Swans board and executives because of the ''unprecedented commitment of TPP (total player payments) funds to a single player over such a contract length''.
The Swans hierarchy accepted in writing that the contract terms must be included in the salary cap each year.
The AFL also warned the Swans that the controversial Cost of Living Allowance may be scrapped or reduced from 2015 onwards and that the league would review the contract situation annually to ensure that it complied with TPP.
The TPP for each club this season was $9.14 million and that is expected to rise by an average of 5 per cent a year in coming years. If the cap were to continue to increase at that rate for the duration of Franklin's contract, by the time he was in his ninth year, the salary cap per club would be about $14 million. COLA - which gives the Swans about an extra $1 million a year in their cap and is funded by the AFL - is expected to be wound down after 2014.
"We understand that nine-year contracts are rare in AFL football, but so too are players the quality of Lance Franklin,'' Ireland said.
"As a club we will always seek to improve our list and we are confident Lance will be a great fit."
Ireland suggested that there may be a cap on overall football spending, rather than just player payments, during the long term of Franklin's deal.
''(The) reality is that none of us knows what the rules are going to be going into the future. There's talk that maybe clubs might get a total salary cap for total football payments which includes your football payments and if you want to spend some more on your players you can do that and perhaps be a bit skinnier on how much you pay your coaches.''