Chris Judd in action. Photo courtesy of Carlton Football Club‘s Facebook page
The AFL is tightening its rules on third party payments and dual Brownlow medalist Chris Judd is one of many feeling the pinch.
The Carlton Football Club and Judd were recently told they would have to include within their salary cap a $250,000-a-year third party deal with sponsors Visy.
It is believed the initial six-year contract with Visy was a major factor in securing the deal that moved Judd to the Blues from West Coast back in 2008.
This will put further pressure on Carlton and new coach Mick Malthouse to keep their current list of players, and would explain a lack of interest during the trade period.
It was revealed by AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson as of October 22, Judd’s third party deal could no longer be excluded from Carlton’s salary cap. “My decision is related to a tightening of the rules,” Anderson told Fox Sports News recently.
Anderson said that the AFL will “continue to carefully scrutinise related-party deals for players based on a range of factors”.
Judd’s manager Paul Connors has vowed to fight the decision by the AFL as payments were approved back in 2008 as part of an employment agreement. “There’s rules and regulations. The AFL is obviously an extremely powerful organisation and they can have their say, but there’s also due process and you’re allowed to argue the case,” Connors told Melbourne radio station SEN.
“There’s always room to wiggle and we disagree with their initial findings. I’m not sure what has changed,” Connors said.
The ongoing Kurt Tippett soap opera has put pressure on the AFL’s stand on third party deals. Many more clubs and players are sure to be investigated as the AFL looks to tighten up on outsider payments. After botched trade deals tried to move Tippett to the Sydney Swans, the Crows came under scrutiny over suspect bookkeeping. Investigations into the club have since revealed that Balfours Bakery had paid Tippett up to $30,000 in secret payments to keep the star player in Adelaide during negotiations into his last contract.
Tippett and the Adelaide Crows will now have to face the AFL Commission on Monday on charges which include breaches of the salary cap. Adelaide captain Nathan van Berlo is also under investigation into suspicious third party payments. – Patrick Higgins