Calton Hit With Massive Penalty For Breaches

Posted on: 11/23 at 11:31am ET

The AFL has made an example of Carlton for salary cheating

G'Day Footy Fans -
(It is if you hate Carlton)

The AFL hearing against Carlton took place Friday evening, Nov. 22. Representing the club were new president Ian Collins and CEO Don Hanly. The hearing dragged on late into the night with Collins vigorously pleading the club's case.
Carlton faced charges of rorting the salary cap, involving payments to four former players - Craig Bradley, Steven Silvagni, Stephen O'Reilly and Fraser Brown. Carlton was arguing only four former directors - John Elliott, Wes Lofts, Barry Stones and Kevin Hall - knew of the alleged under-the-table payments and as they had all resigned during the battle for board control over the past two months, the new administration should be given a fresh slate.
But the league found the club guilty on 3 of 4 charges, with the 4th still being investigated.
In the end, the Blues were fined a whopping $930,000 and have lost picks in this year's national draft, the preseason draft, and in next year's national draft.
Details of the punishment are:
- the fine
- its number one and two picks in Sunday's national draft
- its second and third round picks (numbers 31 and 34 overall)
- exclusion from the first round of December's pre-season draft
- exclusion from the first two rounds of the 2003 national draft.

$57,000 of that fine is the suspended fine the club received for pervious beaches.
Club president Ian Collins said the club would consider its legal options to challenge the AFL ruling, but was non-committal whether there was grounds to do so to prevent Sunday's draft from proceeding. "A fine of this magnitude in the AFL competition, which is very fragile ... would put any club on the brink," an angered Collins said.
And considering the club is believed to be on course to already post a financial loss of at least $500,000 in 2002 – there are legitimate concerns amongst the new Blues board that the club will be unable to pay the fine – which must be paid by December 31, 2003.

The AFL said there was no doubt Carlton was guilty of paying players under the table and thus breaching the salary cap in 2000 and 2001.

A statement from Commission Ron Evans said in part:

The Commission has made a decision about sanctions but before I announce that detail, I wanted to outline a number of issues which were considered in making this decision.

Firstly, the nature of one of the breaches revealed a complex and deliberate scheme designed and implemented to hide payments and deceive the AFL.

This involved the use of trusts, confidentiality agreements and payments to third parties. The paper trail was carefully followed by our investigations team.

Secondly, during the investigation period, former board members of the Carlton Football Club refused to cooperate. This of course has made the task more difficult and time consuming.

Finally, as the Chairman has pointed out, this is the third breach by Carlton Football Club since 1998 and this latest breach occurred while Carlton was under a suspended sentence of a penalty for a previous incident.

The AFL shrugged off suggestions it had been too harsh on Carlton with Evans describing the Blues’ latest salary cap breaches “as a deliberate, elaborate and sophisticated scheme to break the player payment rules.”

Evans said the scheme, which involved payments into secret trust accounts or to third parties was only detected following a lengthy investigation by the league’s investigator Ken Wood.

“This is their (Carlton’s) third breach of the (player payment) rules since 1998,” Evans said.

Evans said the salary cap and draft were fundamental to the success of the AFL competition adding “there is no room in our game for blatant cheating.”

And while he said he felt sympathy for Carlton supporters – whose hopes of seeing their side make a quick revival in 2003 now appear shattered – but said the commission had to consider all 16 clubs when handing down its decision.

“The Carlton members and supporters ought to feel betrayed by the actions of their club,” Evans said.

But while Carlton’s entire future both on and off the field is now under threat – the decision to strip the Blues of their prized first two selections is great news for St Kilda and the Kangaroos.
Instead of having selections three and four respectively, those clubs will now have the prized first two picks in this year’s draft.

As a result of the punishment meted out to the Blues, the pecking order for the draft had to be revised:

Selections by Club:
Adelaide: 32, 56, 68, 77
Brisbane: 3, 19, 30, 44, 59, 71, 78
Carlton: 45, 60, 72, 79, 84
Collingwood: 21, 29, 43*(Cameron Cloke), 58, 70
Essendon: 10, 11, 27, 28, 40*(Jobe Watson), 67
Fremantle: 13, 48, 55, 63, 75, 82, 87
Geelong: 7, 23, 36*(Tim Callan), 52
Hawthorn: 8, 51, 65
Kangaroos: 2, 9, 18, 25, 31, 38
Melbourne: 14, 15, 26, 39, 54, 66
Port Adelaide: 6, 16, 42*(Brett Ebert), 57, 69
Richmond: 12, 41, 47, 62, 74, 81, 86
St Kilda: 1, 22, 46, 61, 73, 80, 85, 88
Sydney: 5, 34*(Sean Dempster), 50, 64, 76, 83
West Coast: 24, 37, 53
Western Bulldogs: 4, 17, 20, 33, 35, 49

* Father/Son Rule

Selection By Round:
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
1.StK 16. PA 31.Kang 45.Carl 60.Carl
2.Kang 17. WB 32.Adel 46.StK 61.StK
3.Bris 18. Kang 33. WB 47.Rich 62. Rich
4. WB 19.Bris 34.Syd 48.Fre 63.Fre
5.Syd 20. WB 35. WB 49.WB 64.Sydney
6.PA 21.Coll 36.Geel 50.Syd 65.Haw
7.Gee 22. StK 37.WCE 51.Haw 66.Melb
8.Haw 23.Geel 38.Kang 52.Geel 67. Ess
9.Kang 24.WCE 39.Melb 53.WCE 68.Ade
10.Ess 25.Kang 40.Ess 54.Melb 69.PA
11.Essn 26.Melb 41.Rich 55.Fre 70.Coll
12.Rich 27.Ess 42.PA 56.Ade 71.Bris
13.Fre 28.Ess 43.Coll 57.PA
14.Melb 29.Coll 44.Bris 58.Coll
15.Melb 30.Bris 59.Bris

Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9
72.Carl 79.Carl 84.Carl 88.St.Kilda
73.StK 80.StK 85.StK
74.Rich 81.Rich 86.Rich
75.Fre 82.Fre 87.Fre
76.Syd 83.Syd


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