Kurt Tippett's first training session with Swans
Boom recruit Kurt Tippett meets his new teammates the day after he was drafted to the AFL premiers. Photo: Anthony Johnson
SWANS chairman Richard Colless has reached out to his Hawthorn and Adelaide counterparts in a bid to clear the air over his club's contentious cost-of-living allowance.
As Kurt Tippett prepares to be inducted into the ''Bloods code'', the Swans remain confident their extra money, which some clubs have claimed was used to help secure the power forward, will continue to be endorsed by the AFL.
Tippett fronted the media on Wednesday for the first time as a Swan, although he will have to wait 12 weeks into the home-and-away season before he can take to the field as a result of his suspension for draft and salary-cap manipulation.
Blooded: New Swan Kurt Tippett at his first training session with his new club. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold and Adelaide chairman Rob Chapman were critical of the living allowance afforded Sydney when it emerged last season's premier had the money to meet the former Crow's $900,000-a-year salary. The comments prompted the AFL Commission in October to order a review of the cost-of-living allowance, using Australian Bureau of Statistics data, with an update possible at Monday's last commission meeting of the year.
The Swans say the 9.8 per cent allowance, worth $944,000 in 2014, is needed to attract and retain talent.
''I have made the point, if there isn't a cost of living difference, then you shouldn't get it, it's as simple as that,'' said Swans chief executive Andrew Ireland.
''But I know through the research that the cost of living is substantially higher [in Sydney] than in any other part of Australia. On that side, it's a valid allowance to have. The other part that we get asked about is, in every player contract, there is a mandate that they get the allowance. What we know is that last year the 9.8 per cent was fully spent given to our players.''
Colless rang Newbold and Chapman to point out why the allowance was needed. ''Certainly, our chairman has had contact with those two clubs, just outlined the circumstances,'' Ireland said. ''They accepted it and thought it was reasonable.''
Ireland said Tippett had been embraced by the club and would be inducted into its famed code, a set of values designed to help players lead their lives as footballers and as men.
The tight-knit Swans used captain Jarrad McVeigh to formally welcome Tippett before the former Crow's first training session with his new teammates. ''We've got a set of behaviours we like to live by and we'll go through all that sort of stuff in the next few months,'' McVeigh said.
''All the boys that come through you want to earn the respect of your peers, that's what you want in footy, and you do it by training hard, doing all the right things and when game day comes you look after your mate.''
The code was seen as integral to the club's flags in 2005 and last season.
Coaching great Leigh Matthews has questioned whether Tippett's high salary would have a negative impact, but Ireland dismissed any concerns, and Tippett denied he had joined the Swans because of money.
''I look forward to playing football, settling in, training hard and preparing myself well and earning the guys' trust over the summer,'' he said. ''It's been a challenge for myself and my family, but I'm happy to put that all behind me now.''
The Swans will set the 202- centimetre, 104-kilogram forward a fitness program to have him in the best shape possible once his suspension is over. ''It's going to be a challenge, but they are the cards we've been dealt and we'll make the most of it,'' Tippett said. ''I'm getting stronger and faster each year, so I look to improve that. I also want to improve my goalkicking and my marking, so there's plenty to work on.''