The Tippett saga: a fan’s postmortem

Damo Roar Guru

By Damo, Damo is a Roar Guru

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    Malthouse says Tippett vital for Crows (Images: AFL)

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    Now that the punishment has been handed down to both club and player, I feel I can finally discuss this whole, sorry saga from a fans perspective.

    Both parties have been harmed by this.

    Fans have been left feeling disillusioned and betrayed. Certain individuals have discovered that years of clean living and responsible practice can not always absolve you from one bad deed, and a player has been shown exactly what can happen you overreach.

    And may they all provide an example.

    This affair has resulted in the Adelaide Crows having to pay a $300,000 fine and being blocked from the first two rounds of next years draft. Tippett will miss half of 2013 and all of the NAB cup, as well as receiving a $50,000 fine.

    The flow on effect of this decision has also been felt across the league, with clubs making sure their houses are in order. Thankfully the only potential scandals to emerge have been Chris Judd’s deal with VISY ending, and the Blues superstar being investigated in possible salary cap breaches through the sale of memorabilia.

    It now looks, however, like the storm has finally ended. Tippett and the Crows have finally parted ways, the ruck-forward looking to the pre-season draft, and both parties can look to rebuild and salvage what they can from the mess.

    As a fan, Friday’s decision was perhaps the best of a series of bad outcomes for the club. Though severe, the fine and sanctions are not unfair considering previous punishments for salary cap breaches.

    Recent examples, such as those handed out to the Melbourne Storm, Canterbury Bulldogs and Carlton Blues, were very fresh in my mind as I’m sure they were for most Crows supporters. To have to pay back a fine of $300k is not impossible for a strong club like Adelaide, especially considering major sponsors such Toyota and Balfours look set to maintain their partnership with the club.

    Even the draft sanctions, similar to those which crippled Carlton under John Elliott, may not harm the Crows as much as feared. The current squad list is littered not only with current young stars and future superstars, but some genuine talent taken late in previous drafts.

    Even this year, despite abstaining willingly from the first two rounds, the Crows were still able to cover some needs by selecting a tall defender in Tasmanian Sam Siggins and midfielder Rory Aitkins.

    The taking of potential top five pick Brad Crouch from the GWS mini draft last year also puts the Crows in a much stronger place than the Blues of 2002, whose salary cap routing was discovered at a time when the several experienced players had left the club and the Blues were already sitting at the bottom of the ladder.

    Perhaps from a club perspective, the worst outcome from the trial has to be the suspension of CEO Steven Trigg. Often rated among the best in the business for his management of one of the league’s biggest and most successful clubs off-field, Trigg was an extremely popular figure among fans. This ordeal should now surely see the end of his career.

    As for Tippett, a half year out of the game and a $50k fine is the least of his worries. The man’s name, whether fairly or not, is now just as muddied as his former club’s.

    His salary and time as an unavailable player would also surely worry potential suitors. Despite this, the admission of the GWS Giants that they may be questioning his worth, may still see Tippett make it to the Swans.

    Lucky for him, his 11 game ban means he will just miss a return to AAMI stadium in 2013, with the Swans and Crows set to meet in round 11.

    It would be easy for me to express my pleasure at seeing Tippett punished equally with the club, it would simply be sour-grapes to do so. So I will say that Friday the 30 of November should be remembered by the Crows and fans, to never be seduced by a player’s potential, and to never, ever overpay any one player again.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • December 1st 2012 @ 6:34am
      nick said | December 1st 2012 @ 6:34am | ! Report

      As a swans fan, I don’t want Tippet. The blokeis dishonest and therefore won’t be a good fit at the swans. He will also take us back to the “Barry Hall” syndrome, only kicking to big target in the forward line at the ignorance of other avenues to goal. No thanks.

    • December 1st 2012 @ 10:42am
      TheObserver said | December 1st 2012 @ 10:42am | ! Report

      Absolutely amazed that a 22 year old footballer taking advice from the club offering the contract and his manager is the one who receives the greatest (relative to their careers), penalty.
      The AFLPA is correct with its comments.
      As for Tippett,leaving Adelaide will prove to be the second best football decision he ever made.
      Joining Sydney will prove the best.
      Now can we all move on.

    • December 1st 2012 @ 11:20am
      Graham said | December 1st 2012 @ 11:20am | ! Report

      Nick, as a swans fan, your biggest worry should be that he only plays well every now and again. His own ex-teammates thought he’s a squib.
      Observer, I’m sure you feel sorry for poor Kurt, after all he only wanted to go home, but those terrible Crows started to throw money at him, and now Sydney are doing it.
      And none of this would have happened if those rotten Crows had only given him away to Sydney.
      But luckily, Sydney had all that money from the extra salary cap to throw at him. (They must have been saving it up.)
      Anyway the poor boy is at last free to follow his heart and go home. Sorry, he’ll be able to go home once he’s got all that terrible money.
      He was just a boy, innocent of the ways of the world when all of this happened. If only those dollars hadn’t been there. He could now be home in queensland playing for the Suns.
      HE didn’t have to take the money.

    • December 1st 2012 @ 11:28am
      Japanese Super Highways said | December 1st 2012 @ 11:28am | ! Report

      ” I feel I can finally discuss this whole, sorry saga from a fans perspective.”
      Discuss what? You’ve just simply repeated the charges that all newspapers have covered today. What about discussing whether this is rampant in other AFL clubs, what is happening to Dangerfield and co that are on similar deals, and whether (as a fan) you are going to change clubs and start supporting Port Adelaide or GWS instead?

      • December 1st 2012 @ 12:18pm
        TC said | December 1st 2012 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

        Change clubs?

        That’s a bit drastic.


        • December 1st 2012 @ 1:22pm
          Japanese Super Highways said | December 1st 2012 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

          “Fans have been left feeling disillusioned and betrayed. ”

          Sounds like grounds for divorce to me. He wrote it!

      • December 2nd 2012 @ 2:58pm
        Johan said | December 2nd 2012 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

        Join Powa or GWS!!! would rather chew my arm off to the elbow! get real!!!

    • December 1st 2012 @ 3:04pm
      willo said | December 1st 2012 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

      Its easy for everyone to see Tippett as a villain in this saga, Its hard to dismiss Adelaide’s C.E.O as the biggest influence in this mess, illegal third party payments were forged in 2009 by Trigg and Blucher and was kept secret from the adelaide board also sending a second letter as a cover up. If it wasn’t for Tippett wanting to join the swans the Crows feeling hard done by with pick 22 and Jesse white from sydney, footy fans thinking Swans had an unfair advantage having already won the flag, we might never have known these payments were ever made. To say tippett was ill advised is an understatement as a 22year old having that much money offered would be hard to refuse. Adelaide gave up two draft picks at the insistence’s of the AFL to soften the blow for their club. Demetriou and his board added another 25.000 to Tippett’s penalty because he attempted to portray himself as an innocent young footballer, This is another unfairness how Demetriou looks after mates, In Trigg’s desperate effort to keep Tippett believing him to be the x factor for premiership glory he broke the law ,The lenient penalty by the AFL will pave the way for Adelaide to recover quickly, for people to forget, Demetriou saying Trigg is a man of immense ability who deserves a second chance after making a grave error, Will the crows be that forgiving their C.E.O putting their reputation at risk loss of draft picks and $300.000 fine? Sacking Rendell with the excuse mud will stick to the crows makes one wonder how Trigg feels now the shoes on the other foot

    • December 1st 2012 @ 5:14pm
      GaryA said | December 1st 2012 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

      Good article Damo. Thanks.

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