KURT Tippett remains determined to clear his name at Friday’s AFL Commission hearing, but his former club Adelaide will not contest the draft tampering and salary cap accusations levelled at it.
Tippett has received AFL permission to delist himself from the Crows and place himself in the pre-season draft, but the 25-year-old cannot nominate any financial terms until after Friday’s hearing.
Tippett, who is facing a fine, suspension and possible deregistration, has been offered a $3.55 million, four-year deal to join Sydney and is likely to find his way to the Swans, with the hefty price tag set to deter Greater Western Sydney.
Adelaide chairman Rob Chapman last night confirmed that after strong recent discussions with the AFL through each parties’ lawyers, the Crows were ”contrite” and keen to move on as soon as possible after the hearing.
Adelaide gave up its first two choices in last week’s national draft as a ”goodwill gesture” ahead of the hearing, but is still expected to be heavily punished for the agreement it struck with Tippett when recontracting him in 2009.
Chief executive Steven Trigg, football manager Phil Harper and former football manager John Reid are also planning to plead guilty to all charges.
Harper is facing one charge of breaching salary cap rules, while Trigg, Reid and the club are facing two charges of breaching both salary cap and draft rules.
”We’ve had some engaging discussions with the AFL, we’re contrite and I care about upholding the integrity of the competition as much as anyone,” Chapman said.
”What I want now is to get the right overall outcome for our club. I can’t afford to take chances that could harm my club more than it needs to be harmed.
”We’re ready to face up to it on Friday, minimise the risk to the club and get the best outcome possible because we know that the integrity of the competition is paramount.”
Tippett’s removal from the club’s list means Adelaide will be able to reclaim midfielder Nick Joyce at the pre-season draft on December 11.
Joyce was delisted ahead of last week’s national draft, with the club told by the AFL that it was not able to move Tippett off its list pending the commission hearing.
Because Tippett delisted himself, he was not eligible to sign directly with Sydney as a delisted free agent by yesterday’s deadline.
While the Giants have sufficient space in their salary cap to take Tippett, they are reluctant to pay the vast contract that their cross-town rival has agreed to hand Tippett if, as expected, he joins the Swans via the pre-season draft.
The Giants have first pick in that draft for uncontracted and delisted players and in the highly likely event that they pass on Tippett, they have indicated they will re-draft ruckman Dean Brogan, who was dropped off the senior list with the proviso that he would return if/when Tippett is not selected by Greater Western Sydney.
Both Brisbane and Gold Coast have ruled out Tippett after he nominated Sydney as his preferred club, before the scandal of Adelaide’s unauthorised payments was disclosed in this newspaper in the final week of the trade period.
GWS had said it was interested in drafting Tippett earlier this month, but the club’s interest waned after learning his huge asking price, which the Swans have agreed to meet.
Tippett also refused to meet with GWS or the Lions – echoing the tactic used successfully by Luke Ball when he left St Kilda, entered the national draft with a hefty price on his head and still got to Collingwood at pick No. 30.
Sydney has agreed to pay Tippett $3.55 million over four years, with a trigger clause that would earn him a further two years on $975,000 in 2017 and 2018.
He needs to play at least 20 games in each of the first four years to earn the extra two seasons.
While the Giants have the room to accommodate Tippett, even on those figures, they recognise that such a hefty and long-term contract could create potential problems in future years, when their legion of highly talented youngsters are being pursued by other clubs.
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