TOM Lynch’s upcoming move from the lowly Gold Coast Suns to premiership contenders Richmond has seen Sydney chairman Andrew Pridham deliver a blast to the AFL.
Sydney was slapped with a trade ban in 2014 and 2015 following the stunning acquisition of Lance Franklin from Hawthorn. The superstar forward had been expected to join GWS instead.
The ban was handed down despite the AFL integrity department investigating the deal and finding no wrongdoing. It came amid continued furore over the Swans’ cost of living allowance (COLA).
“It was one of the more disgraceful decisions that the AFL Commission has ever made,” Pridham, who will soon be replaced by head of football Tom Harley as Swans chief executive officer, told The Daily Telegraph.
“There is no satisfactory answer for the ban. Having said that we have all moved on.”
During the two-year ban Sydney was only able to bring in Callum Sinclair (swapped from West Coast for Lewis Jetta) and Michael Talia.
Pridham joked that the Tigers should be penalised even more than the Swans were given they have poached a star from a bottom side, whereas Sydney did so from the reigning premiers.
“Given Richmond were premiers and Tom Lynch comes from one of the bottom clubs and we recruited Lance from the premiers I’m expecting at least a three-year trade ban for Richmond,” Pridham joked.
He added: “There is a total lack of understanding of how COLA worked.”
“The perception was COLA was a slush fund used to buy extra players but it wasn’t. It was a supplement in every contract of about 10 per cent in every contract. Players expected to receive COLA.”
Of the Franklin move, Pridham said the Swans were simply “ahead of the curve” with the length of their offer.
Franklin signed a nine-year, 0 million contract with Sydney at the end of the 2013 season.
“There was a big element of surprise in the industry but we were simply ahead of the curve offering a really long contract,” Pridham said.
“Ironically it’s now common place. In retrospect we were penalised for being ahead of the curve. I don’t think anyone would say it’s anything but a great move after the way Lance has performed over the last five years.”