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New twist in Tippett probe

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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.

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THE AFL investigation into alleged draft tampering by Adelaide has been broadened to include accusations of salary cap cheating. The league is examining emailed correspondence between former Crows football manager John Reid and Peter Blucher, Kurt Tippett's manager, following the forward's decision to re-sign at the end of 2009.

The email is believed to refer to an agreement that Adelaide would trade Tippett to the club of his choice for a second-round draft pick at the conclusion of the three-year contract, as well as an additional payment.

Neither the payment nor the trade deal were disclosed in Tippett's contract, which was approved by the AFL at the time, leaving the Crows facing major sanctions for both the agreement to trade him, and the possible salary cap breach.

The immediate future of Tippett was in limbo last night, following Adelaide's decision to take written evidence of the agreement to trade him cheaply to the AFL on Friday, seeking clarification on its legality.

It is understood the Crows came forward after receiving correspondence from lawyers acting for Tippett late last week, threatening to take the matter to the Supreme Court if the agreement was not adhered to and he was not traded to his club of choice, Sydney.

The investigation, which will not delay the end of the month-long trade period tomorrow, could have implications for many people at Adelaide, as well as for the former forward they were desperate to retain and his management company, Velocity Sports.

Tippett’s move to Sydney this week has become problematic and if found complicit in any illegal deals he could face a suspension, fine or at worst, be deregistered and forced into the draft.

Adelaide — which this time last year knocked back Brisbane’s offer of a first and second-round draft pick for Tippett, backing itself to retain him beyond this season — could be punished for draft tampering, having agreed to influence a future trade period.


Kurt Tippett.

Kurt Tippett. Photo: Getty Images

The Crows had believed that if Tippett sought a trade to any club, it would be either the Suns or Brisbane, given he had expressed a desire to move home to Queensland at some stage. He shocked Adelaide, where he was the highest-paid player, by accepting a $4million, four-year offer from the Swans instead.

The AFL must approve each individual trade deal and will not do so unless it represents commercial value for all parties. Suspicions were raised late last week after speculation that Tippett could be swapped for Sydney’s first pick, No.23, and fringe player Jesse White.

The league yesterday confirmed an Age  report that it was investigating ‘‘a matter regarding the contracting of player Kurt Tippett to the Adelaide Crows in 2009, to cover the 2010-2012 AFL seasons’’ and whether it adhered to AFL rules.

The Crows said: ‘‘The process began when the Adelaide Football Club notified the AFL of its concern relating to the matter and submitted relevant information to the League. The club welcomes the investigation and continues to assist the AFL with its inquiries.’’

When he re-signed three years ago, Tippett signed a standard player contract, which includes the words: ‘‘This contract contains all of the terms of the agreement between the parties.’’

He also, like all players, signed a statutory declaration form. It states: "Neither I nor any associate of the player has directly or indirectly received or had applied any payment, consideration, advantage or other benefit not referred to in the contract, the arrangement or the detail of other payments attached to this statutory declaration."

The Crows have consistently denied that there was a clause in Tippett’s contract stating it would trade him cheaply to the club of his choice.

The AFL would not comment last night, but confirmed that the trade period would end at 2pm tomorrow.

44 comments so far

  • How stupid are all the parties in entering this off-contract agreement? How even more stupid is K Tippett and his manager for trying to legally enforce it. I suggest a big fine for Adelaide and 12 months de-registration for Tippett and his manager.

    Viv R
    Date and time
    October 24, 2012, 11:17PM
    • Would love to see the fall out if they deregistered Velocity Sports would leave a large chunk of the players without a registered manager.

      Date and time
      October 25, 2012, 7:35AM
    • Perhaps his lawyers understand the bigger picture. Players in the NRL have had the draft and associated restrictions deemed unlawful in the Federal court. Many legal commentators believe the same would be true IF an AFL player took on the AFL over this. Under the law as interpreted by the Federal court, in the NRL cases, a player is essentially a free agent once his contract has expired. Under this scenario Tippett is entitled to go anywhere he pleases. The AFL will tread wearily here and Tippett will end up at the Swans just as he wants.

      Date and time
      October 25, 2012, 7:55AM
    • Perhaps they don't realise the penalty for lying on a stat dec?

      on a Stat Dec
      Date and time
      October 25, 2012, 10:57AM
    • Had to chuckle at the speed and the effusiveness of the Adelaide Board going to the AFL HQ with this secret clause info. But will the club be spared ?
      Meanwhile, Lynch at Velocity Sports and manager Blucher are either having many sleepless nights or dreaming of their Supreme Court victory when they'll be feted as heroes by certain un-named parties, as will Tippett and his father Tony.
      And back at revenge will be wielded by a new axe to grind.
      Just wish that Swans image hadn't got tarnished in all this.

      Date and time
      October 25, 2012, 1:14PM
    • @Groote Awww, don't cry for Sydney. Roll in their giant salary cap.

      Date and time
      October 25, 2012, 2:17PM
    • This is huge... if Tippet digs his heels in, he could destroy the draft and salary cap...

      "Brian Adamson vers West Perth FC" back in 1978 set the precedent for sportsmen... a footy club cannot legally tell a player where he can and cannot play, it falls under the "restraint of trade" laws. This old (forgotten?) case is as significant as the "Bosman" ruling in soccer in Europe.

      If Tippet and his lawyers fight this case out to the end.. the draft and salary cap are GONE!!!

      Date and time
      October 25, 2012, 3:18PM
    • Krusty I am sure the AFL have contingencies for this, just like the NBA and the NFL in the USA have contingencies when players want to take on their draft and salary cap. What it is is all players sign an agreement that stipulates if they want to play in the AFL, they have to abide by the conditions of the draft and free agency rules. If he takes it on he will be told to play elsewhere, like the WAFL or SANFL....
      Bloodlines, how do you know what the Swans have offered Tippett? How do you know the Swans extra million is distributed evenly amongst players at Sydney? Are you on the Sydney Board and privy to this info or do you assume this because it makes the Swans look squeeky clean?

      Just want the truth
      from a reliable source
      Date and time
      October 25, 2012, 3:36PM
  • Hmmm, the AFL confirmed that the trade period would end at 2pm tomorrow. That's very insightful

    Date and time
    October 24, 2012, 11:22PM
    • Maybe Tippett can claim the concusions have rendered him with no memory of such agreement - worked for Bondy (for a while)

      Rocklea Tiger
      Rocklea Qld
      Date and time
      October 24, 2012, 11:29PM

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