AFL clubs will be nervous: Crows coach

By Steve Larkin,

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    All other AFL clubs will be nervous in the wake of the Kurt Tippett controversy, Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson says.

    The Crows and Tippett have been charged by the AFL with salary cap cheating and draft tampering in relation to the key forward’s expired contract with the club.

    “I probably shouldn’t comment on other clubs but I’m sure this is going to make a lot of other clubs nervous, too,” Sanderson told reporters on Monday.

    “There is a lot of greyness surrounding ASAs (additional services agreements) and how players are paid and stuff so probably the other 17 clubs are just double-checking and ensuring that everything is above board.

    “But as far as I know … Adelaide has been squeaky clean for 22 years and this has been something that they are going to have to work through and we will certainly get through it.”

    Tippett, the Crows, chief executive Steven Trigg, club football operations manager Phil Harper and his predecessor John Reid have all been charged by the AFL.

    An AFL commission hearing, initially scheduled on Monday to hear the charges, was postponed to give the Crows more time to build their defence.

    If found guilty, Tippett could be deregistered as a player and the Crows banned from up to four national drafts, as well as fined any amount the AFL determines.

    “It’s a bit out of my hands, to be honest,” Sanderson said of likely future draft penalties.

    “As we stand today, really happy to be involved in this year’s draft and we’ll bring some good young talent in and, until the investigation is completed, I guess we have just got to wait and see.”

    Tippett became the Crows’ highest-paid player on signing a multi-million dollar, three-year contract extension in 2009.

    But Adelaide admitted last month they had a once-secret deal, outside the contract, with the ruckman-forward who walked out on the club at the end this season.

    The investigation prevented Adelaide trading Tippett, who remains on the club’s list until he likely nominates for December’s pre-season draft.

    Sanderson said money was central to Queensland-native Tippett’s decision to quit the Crows and request to play for premiers Sydney.

    “When Kurt told us he was going to leave and he said it was going to be to Sydney, that – from our point of view – was a bit of a surprise. There was always the talk that he wanted to return home (to Queensland),” Sanderson said.

    Sanderson didn’t raise the Tippett saga with Crows’ players when they returned for pre-season training on Monday.

    “We mentioned this morning to the players that all they can do is do their very best to prepare themselves for a great 2013,” he said.

    “We didn’t really even talk about it – we didn’t feel the need to.

    “It has been played out pretty heavily in the media obviously but, from our point of view – internally, inside the bubble – things are just business as usual.”

    © AAP 2018

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