SYDNEY last night hoped its reputation for getting a deal done would allow it to secure Kurt Tippett and prompt Adelaide to honour an understanding to deal the star forward to his club of choice.
Still basking in their premiership joy, the Swans edged the Gold Coast and Brisbane Lions to be 25-year-old Tippett’s preferred new home with a four-year contract worth $3.2 million. This is conditional on the Swans and Crows negotiating a trade, with trade week beginning tomorrow.
Tippett’s management confirmed that a clause exists in the 104-game forward’s contract allowing him to be traded to the club of his choice.
When asked about the reported clause in Tippett’s last contract, that he could be traded to the club of his choice for a second-round draft pick, Peter Blucher, of Velocity Sports, said: ”There is an understanding between the parties, they would help get him to the club of his choice.”
But he added it was also recognised that arrangements had to be ”commercial” in the deal with the Crows.
Adelaide, which was desperately keen to retain Tippett three years ago, was understood to have agreed to a deal where it would receive a second and possible third-round draft pick for Tippett.
However, there are suggestions the Crows would only follow through on this deal if Tippett returned home and joined a Queensland-based club.
Industry speculation is that, whatever the understanding between Tippett and the Crows, a deal would be done that involved Sydney’s first pick, No. 22, and a player, going to the Crows.
Blucher urged the Crows to not be too demanding, as Tippett could yet ”walk” to the Suns through the pre-season draft.
Swans chief executive Andrew Ireland told The Sunday Age the deal between Tippett and the Crows was an understanding and not contractually binding. But he did not know what the Crows would ask for.
”We will find out what all that means when we start to talk to them,” he said.
”His management, Kurt and his father are confident the commitment was given to wherever he wanted to go. All I can say is we have a reputation, when we traded for players in the past, for not being silly and to get the deal done.”
The Lions had offered a five-year contract but yesterday said they could not compete with the Swans’ salary-cap concessions.
Greater Western Sydney and the Swans have a cost-of-living allowance that helps to retain players and ease living expenses, which traditionally have been higher in the harbour city and often centres on property prices.
This allowance equates to 9.8 per cent of total player payments, which this season meant an additional $862,000.
”Once Kurt signalled his intention to come home to Queensland, the club put to him an extremely appealing offer,” Lions national talent manager Rob Kerr said yesterday.
Ireland defended the cost-of-living allowance and said the Swans had also been financially prudent, having lost several senior players to retirement in recent years and front-ended other contracts when possible.
”People are naive to think that allowance is sitting there and available to go and secure players. Every manager knows we get an allowance,” he said.
”Every time we negotiate a contract, the comment is: ‘If this player was playing in Melbourne or Adelaide or somewhere else, this is what his market rate is. You have to do that, plus pay 10 per cent.’
”That’s for every player on our book. We don’t have to pay it for rookies, but we still do.”
The Lions no longer have a cost-of-living allowance but they had this benefit during their premiership years. Collingwood president Eddie McGuire was a critic of this system.
While the speculation that Tippett might be joining Sydney, rather than clubs from Queensland, has angered some Crows fans and led to abuse on social media, Blucher pointed out that Tippett was Sydney-born and had extensive family there.
Sydney coach John Longmire and Ireland flew to the Gold Coast last Monday to meet Tippett, who was yet to announce he was leaving the Crows.
”It would have been easy to accept a generous five-year offer to stay in Adelaide, or something similar from the Gold Coast or Brisbane, and I also want to thank those clubs for their interest,” Tippett said yesterday.
”But this was a combined football-lifestyle decision and the balance between the two. I was born in Sydney, I have a lot of friends and family there, and this offers me a chance to play football in a lifestyle which I really enjoy.
”Watching the AFL grand final last Saturday, listening to the commentary and talking to various people over time, it is obvious the Swans have a very special culture, in addition to a very good team.”
Tippett would join forces with Sam Reid and Adam Goodes in one of the league’s most lethal forward lines.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.