The Sydney Swans have been banned from recruiting players over the next two trade periods as the controversial cost of living allowance is phased out.
The decision comes just two weeks after the red and white went down by 61 points in the AFL grand final.
The harbour city boasts incredibly high housing costs to those who live there, and as such the AFL had in the past allowed the Swans an added 10 per cent on top of the salary cap to allow its players to live comfortably in Sydney.
The high profile recruits of Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin in the past two years copped heavy scrutiny from many, led by media personality and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire. The AFL announced earlier this year it would be replaced by a fairer rental assistance program.
Swans chief executive Andrew Ireland expressed sincere disappointment towards the AFL’s decision.
“As you’d expect, the club is very disappointed and we don’t understand why the AFL has made this rule specifically for us considering we’ve complied with their rules,” Mr Ireland said in a statement.
“While we wholeheartedly believe players should receive the cost of living allowance due to the higher cost of living in Sydney, it was ultimately the AFL’s rule, it wasn’t optional and therefore we included it in every player’s contract.
“It doesn’t make any sense that we’re being punished for something that we’ve been told to do.”
Sydney were reportedly interested in Bomber’s ruckman Patty Rider, but will now be unable to pursue his services. – Patrick Boddan
Top photo by Daniel Walker.