Sydney-bound: Kurt Tippett. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
KURT Tippett's path to Sydney in today's pre-season draft is assured after the AFL informed the Brisbane Lions and Greater Western Sydney that they did not have sufficient room in their salary caps to accommodate Tippett's nominated price and did not allow them to see details of the Tippett contract demands.
The Lions and Giants both had significant room in their total player payments, but were still some distance from the amount for 2013 that would have to be included if they met Tippett's four-year fee, which was to be about $3.55m before Tippett received his 11-match suspension for draft and salary cap offences. If Tippett's 2013 fee has been lowered after his suspension, it remains hefty enough to be beyond the reach of Sydney's competitors.
Under the rules, clubs have to provide the AFL with estimates of what their salary cap will be for the next season. The AFL then tells the clubs if they have room to participate in the pre-season draft (PSD). In this case, the AFL has informed the Lions and Giants that they would not be able fit Tippett into their total player payments (TPP).
Thus, Brisbane and GWS were not permitted to see the four-year arrangement that Tippett has negotiated with the Swans and nominated as his terms. Gold Coast, the other potential suitor, is not pursuing Tippett either.
The Lions are understood to have had as much as $500,000-$600,000 remaining in the TPP - what is otherwise known as the salary cap - and a further amount of $250-$350,000 in the Additional Services Agreements, the capped payments made to players for promoting sponsors and the club.
But while Brisbane conceivably could have come close to matching Tippett's fee for 2013, perhaps $800,000-900,000 - by combining the two forms of capped payments - Tippett is believed to have set out terms that put all, or nearly all, of his contract in the salary cap. This appears to be a clever tactic of his management and the Swans to ensure he gets to his club of choice.
Tippett and his management were aware of the parameters of what Brisbane could pay and the likely breakdown of salary cap and ASA, having seen an official offer from the Lions when they were among the clubs pitching for him back in October.
The Swans have pushed Tippett into the pre-season, rather than national draft, in the knowledge that it is much harder for rival bidders to find the extra room for such as expensive player after the national draft, when clubs have to put in their estimates. The clubs put in their salary cap estimates on November 29, a week after the national draft.
The Giants were also unwilling to pay Tippett at the rate he will be paid with the Swans, bearing in mind their enviable key forward tandem of Jeremy Cameron and Jonathon Patton, the highly capable youngsters who have been earmarked as the club's answer to Jason Dunstall and Dermott Brereton.
GWS will re-draft ruckman Dean Brogan, who has coaching duties with the club, and select Bret Thornton in today's pre-season draft, which will be immediately followed by the rookie draft.
Pre-season draft selections (11am)
- Western Bulldogs
- Port Adelaide
- Brisbane Lions