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Swans chief now turns on Geelong

Back on the attack: Sydney Swans chairman Richard Colless.

Back on the attack: Sydney Swans chairman Richard Colless. Photo: Steve Christo

The simmering feud between the Sydney and Melbourne AFL clubs has shown no signs of abating, with Swans chairman Richard Colless back in attack mode over a call for an AFL investigation into his club's total player payments.

And Colless has disputed the version of events put forward by Carlton president Stephen Kernahan, stating that Colless had apologised following his stinging attack on the Blues.

With the AFL presidents' meeting on March 20 looming as a potentially politically divisive affair, Colless - the longest-serving club chairman in the AFL - said he remained ''bitterly disappointed'' at the lack of ''esprit de corps'' among club chiefs.

Turning his attention to former AFL commissioner and now Geelong president Colin Carter, Colless said: ''Never in the history of the game has a premiership club retained so many great players as Geelong.

''I'd love Colin to tell me how it's done. Probably the best person to ask about how you keep a squad together is Colin Carter. To use terms like 'looking at the books' implies something sinister and coming from a man of Colin's standing … well it's more than mischievous.

''And, as for Stephen Kernahan, who I dearly admire and have always got on well with, he is only telling half the story. My apology came as a result of his abject apology to me. He was very disappointed in Greg Swann's comments about our club, had made that clear to Greg and told me he regretted them. In that spirit, I was happy to apologise as well.''

Greater Western Sydney chairman Tony Shepherd, who also reportedly apologised for his subtle swipe at Carlton's history with salary cap issues, was also a little perplexed at Kernahan's version of their conversation.

With AFL boss Andrew Demetriou acutely aware of the bad blood flowing between various club blocs as the equalisation debate continues to divide them, Colless said the public swipes directed at Sydney, linking the Kurt Tippett recruitment with the club's 9.8 per cent cost-of-living allowance, had him lamenting the current culture among clubs.

''We will abide by the umpire's decision where the allowance is concerned,'' Colless said. ''We welcome the review but it's just so disappointing - staggering - that no one has bothered to pick up the phone and talk to their counterparts.

''Never in the history of the game have I seen a time where people have been so public in questioning other clubs' affairs. I could point out to them that our club in recent years has lost Michael O'Loughlin and Barry Hall and Darren Jolly and we have been very strategic in the players we have recruited.''

Sydney chief executive Andrew Ireland has remained adamant that every player on Sydney's list receives the additional 9.8 per cent and that all the club's player contracts were closely audited by the AFL.

Carter said on Tuesday: ''The Kurt Tippett thing bothers me. If they had $800,000 there for Kurt Tippett because they managed their salary cap well and had one, two or three highly paid players leave, then that is good management. But if they had $800,000 there because they have not been paying their other players that allowance, then that is wrong.

''I think [Colless] is wrong to say clubs are not entitled to ask the question or for the books to be looked at by the AFL.''


  • Carter is right to pose these questions of Sydney - in that the cost of living allowance needs to be spread across the whole list and not used to lure one marquee player. Geelong has already lost arguably its best player, in part because of salary cap issues and the list has been kept together on goodwill and unity of the playing group. Colless' mindless defensiveness about how Sydney can afford Tippett only heightens suspicions - especially when there is a "cost of living" allowance involved. His club's integrity has only been tarnished by its pursuit of Tippett in the first place.

    Date and time
    March 06, 2013, 8:22AM
    • Assume you mean Gary Ablett. He didn't leave because of salary cap issues, he left to feather his own salary nest!

      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 8:50AM
    • "Colless' mindless defensiveness.."
      Mindless? It's simple arithmetic, Sydney will either be within the salary cap or above it. They either have room for Tippet or they don't. And after last year, I'm sure the AFL know exactly where Sydney stand.

      "'s integrity has only been tarnished by its pursuit of Tippett in the first place."
      But why? Brisbane Lions and any other clubs looking at Tippet, were they risking being ''tarnished'?

      Now, whether or not Sydney deserve the current level of COL allowance is another argument.

      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 9:42AM
    • Paul the Cost of Living allowance is spread over the whole list and is audited by the AFL each year to make sure it is. You guys in Melbourne have a persecution complex every time an interstate club wins a premiership or is able to pick up a marquee player. you go ballistic! We have the money to pick up Tippett because we have managed our list very well and we have one of the youngest lists in the AFL due to retirements or the moving on of other Marquee or top players i recent years.

      A. Pincombe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 10:32AM
    • Guys it's a moot point.....the allowance will stay and as everyone states as long as it's spread amongst the 42 players.

      As for Geelong being able to keep their 'list together' Mr Colless.

      Here is the list to date we have lost due to not being able to accommodate all . Shane Mumford 3 year deal to Swans we couldn't match -Scott Thompson ( kangaroos), Brent Maloney, Jeremy Laidler, Andrew Carazzo, Gary Ablett ( doubled his offer - feather his nest who wouldn't?) Brent Prismall, Charlie Gardiner, Nathan Djkerra, Henry Playfair, Tim Callan, Steven King... most left for opportunity and financial gain!

      So Mr Colless any of these guys get a game in your squad - few decent players 'lost' due to salary cap pressures.

      Every successful Club will lose players south of the Border - we are seeing it each year. Hawthorn and Collingwood will be next.

      Equalization? Footscray are after Socialism spread the money around. One thing is for sure the Cap will be tested and shortly!

      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 11:03AM
    • @A. Pincombe,

      the point is that the salary restrictions that come with a Premiership generally keep a club from picking up "marquee players".

      When Geelong won in 2007, its key champion players (including Ablett) all agreed to take a significant cut in salary to enable them to stay together. If they hadn't done so, Geelong would have lost more than one of those players to other clubs. They certainly were not in a position to splash the sort of money that Sydney used to lure Tippett.

      The AFL has made a tradition of financially penalising premiership winning clubs through the salary cap, but in this instance it appears that the opposite has happened. That is why questions are being asked.

      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 11:10AM
    • A. Pincombe, if the COL allowance was audited each year by the AFL, then the response to the comments would be, "Our books are already reviewed by the AFL for compliance with the COL allowance." However a defensive response was given and then an attack on Geelong that it is amazing how they kept their team together through their premiership years. Which is interesting, as I count about 4 players they lost. From Gary Ablett, the best player in the league, to lower level players like Brent Prismall.

      But Colless doesn't seem to let the truth get in the way of his stories. Just like how it is 9.8% added after contracts are agreed, a ridiculous claim not backed up by the realities of contract negotiation.

      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 11:39AM
    • The AFL also removed any benefit in salary cap space from Adelaide and Brisbane through their successful periods. Sydney has won 2 premierships since 2005 and has made finals consistently yet havent been ear marked as successful.
      I can appreciate higher cost of living as an argument for a slightly higher cap however they've shot themselves in the foot by signing a player on a huge contract who can only play for half the year. Doesn't seem fair at all. They are just laughing at everyone as they continue to argue higher cost of living yet sign players for $800K a year they clearly dont need.

      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 11:57AM
    • Of course Gazza left because of salary cap issues. He got more money to play at the Suns and good luck to him. If he did not go, Geelong would have have lost another high profile player to either the Suns or GWS. Who would have that been Bartel, Selwood, Hawkins, Taylor, Steve Johnson ??? Either one would have been just a big a loss as Gazza. With Gazza gone more money was available to pay the others a bit more.

      The WA Cat
      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 12:13PM
    • Gee Craigyboy!

      Most of the players you mention left because they were delisted or seen as second string. They were not considered good enough for your fine team. By the way Prismall went with the coach. Why don't we list those that stayed: Kelly, Bartel, Byrnes, Chapman, Hawkins, Johnson, Menzel (retired), Milburn (retired), Motlop, Ottens (retired), Pods, Rooke (until retirement), Scarlett (retired), Selwood, Stokes, Taylor, Vardy, Wojcinski, Varcoe, Enright, Harley (retired), Mooney, Ling, Corey. I probably have left out a few but all these players made up the basis of your premiership teams. Add Ablett and it puzzles me how you had the cap to keep all these players?

      A. Pincombe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2013, 3:49PM

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AFL 2016

Round 1
Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
BRI vs NTH 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:25ES
FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs COL 13:45MCG
RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
HAW vs STK 14:10AS
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs GWS 13:10ES
FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs STK 13:45ES
ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 13:10G
CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 7
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs NTH 15:20ES
PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 8
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
BRI vs COL 19:25G
RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 9
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs ESS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs HAW 13:45G
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
STK vs FRE 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 11
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 12
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
BRI vs FRE 16:35G
GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
STK vs CAR 13:10ES
RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
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Round 13
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WCE 13:40G
FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
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Round 14
Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
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Round 15
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
GCF vs STK 13:40MS
SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
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Round 16
Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
ESS vs STK 16:40ES
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Round 17
Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 15:20ES
BRI vs GWS 16:40G
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Round 18
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs STK 19:25ES
GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 19
Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
BRI vs PTA 19:25G
NTH vs STK 19:25ES
Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 20
Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 19:50ES
Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CAR 13:45G
HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs SYD 19:25ES
PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
COL vs GCF 19:25ES
PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
BRI vs GEE 15:20G
ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
STK vs BRI 12:00ES
ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
View all

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