Sydney chief executive Andrew Ireland says suggestions that the Swans' salary cap concessions should be scrapped given their trade bid for Adelaide star Kurt Tippett are offensive.
Tippett has agreed to a four-year contract offer to joins the Swans, who began negotiating a deal with the Crows on Monday morning, as the AFL's trade period officially opened.
Both clubs were coy about what the Swans needed to put on the table, although Ireland said no premiership players would be given up, which suggests Sydney's top draft pick, No.22 overall, will need to be part of a deal.
But Ireland refused to commit to offering that pick.
The fact that the Swans have salary cap room to chase a star player despite winning the flag has brought into question the extra 9.8 per cent salary cap allowance they get to counter the high cost of living in Sydney.
Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold is among the critics, but Ireland said the allowance was needed and careful management and recent retirements had left them room for Tippett, who would take a pay cut in his first year with the Swans.
"It's pretty offensive, I reckon," Ireland said of the criticism.
"We've been for the last decade fundamentally recruiting players from other clubs who weren't getting a game at those clubs.
"We've got a cost of living allowance, it is clearly dearer in Sydney ... there's no slush fund from our allowance, every player on our list gets (an extra) 10 per cent."
He pointed to the Hawks' recruitment of Port Adelaide premiership star Shaun Burgoyne three years ago, having won the flag themselves a year earlier.
Ireland said Tippett was moving because he disliked the "fishbowl" environment in Adelaide and expected the Crows to honour an arrangement made three years ago to help him switch clubs.
Melbourne, who have the No.3, No.4 and No.13 picks to play with, are hoping to be one of the other prime movers in trade week.
Their targets include midfielders Collingwood's Sharrod Wellingham and Gold Coast's Josh Caddy, neither of whom want to join them.
Wellingham wants to join West Coast and Caddy a range of other Victorian clubs, but Demons list manager Tim Harrington said they still hoped they could persuade the pair.
They are also targeting Collingwood key forward Chris Dawes.
Other potential trades on the table include North Melbourne's Hamish McIntosh to Geelong and Essendon's Angus Monfries to Port Adelaide.
St Kilda could also chase a significant player, given the salary cap space freed up by the free agency move of Brendon Goddard to Essendon.