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AFL accused of breaking its own rules over Buddy Franklin trade to Sydney Swans

Swans boss drops Buddy bomb as he claims the AFL broke its own rules by trying to lure the former Hawk to GWS because the league desperately needed to help the struggling team

  • Sydney has accused the AFL of breaking its own rules over Buddy Franklin
  • It is claimed the league lobbied heavily for GWS to sign the forward
  • However, Franklin chose the Swans and signed a $10 million deal over nine years
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The AFL has been accused of breaching its own free agency rules back in 2013, with the Sydney Swans claiming the league played a major role in trying to lure Buddy Franklin to GWS.

Franklin, with just a year left on his deal at Hawthorn, was heavily linked with a move to the struggling Giants, with the free forward seen as the shot in the arm the new club badly needed.

But it was the Swans who pounced on Franklin and landed a monster nine-year deal worth $10 million, surprising the media, the AFL and GWS.

The AFL allegedly broke their own rules to help the GWS Giants sign Buddy Franklin in 2013
The AFL allegedly broke their own rules to help the GWS Giants sign Buddy Franklin in 2013

The AFL allegedly broke their own rules to help the GWS Giants sign Buddy Franklin in 2013

And former Swans chairman Richard Colless has detailed how the AFL’s heavy involvement in GWS’s pursuit of Franklin breached the rules they had created around the free agency market.

“Lance would do one of two things: stay at Hawthorn or play with the Swans,” Colless said Sydney Morning Herald. ‘The AFL, in breach of all the rules they had just made in relation to free agency, dealt directly with Lance and his manager and tried to lure him to GWS.

‘The AFL felt they had superior bargaining power and believed that was where he should go because they were desperate to accelerate GWS’s success.

Franklin was the subject of significant interest from the fledgling AFL club almost 10 years ago
Franklin was the subject of significant interest from the fledgling AFL club almost 10 years ago

Franklin was the subject of significant interest from the fledgling AFL club almost 10 years ago

Former Swans chairman RIchard Colless (L) says the AFL's involvement broke their own rules
Former Swans chairman RIchard Colless (L) says the AFL's involvement broke their own rules

Former Swans chairman RIchard Colless (L) says the AFL’s involvement broke their own rules

‘It was nonsense and it still is. If you think the best players of all time go to bottom clubs to get more money, you are out of touch with world sport. He just wasn’t going there.’

The Swans managed to stare down GWS thanks in large part to the strong relationship between Franklin manager Liam Pickering and Sydney coach John Longmire.

Pickering was Longmire’s best man at his wedding, and he approached CEO Andrew about a potential move that caught the chairman by surprise.

“It’s important that this is understood: we did not instigate it,” Colless added. ‘We knew nothing about it until Lance’s manager, Liam Pickering, approached Andrew Ireland.’

Franklin signed a nine-year deal with the Swans and is on the verge of winning the premiership
Franklin signed a nine-year deal with the Swans and is on the verge of winning the premiership

Franklin signed a nine-year deal with the Swans and is on the verge of winning the premiership

Franklin underwent a medical in Sydney during the 2013 season, but no one outside the club caught a whiff of the seismic deal in the making.

What has followed has been an incredibly fruitful nine years in New South Wales for Franklin, which could end with a premiership tomorrow at the MCG.

He recently put pen to paper on a one-year extension at the club and took the opportunity to take aim at the ‘knockers’ who doubted he would see the deal through.

‘Yes, there have been many banks over the years, haven’t they?’ he said. ‘A lot of people knocking that I wouldn’t make it, I wouldn’t make it. That I would play for four or five years and that would be it. I sure proved them wrong, didn’t I?’

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