by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
The final chapter of the Kurt Tippett saga was played out with the AFLPA Agent Accreditation Board handing down a decision regarding Tippett's agent Peter Blucher and the role he played in the illegal deal with the Adelaide Crows. The board accepted an investigative report in December and recently considered a response submitted by Blucher. The board determined that:
Blucher was in breach of his obligation to act in the legitimate best interests of his client Kurt Tippett.
He was in breach of his obligation to act in a professional manner and to exercise due care and skill at all times.
He was in breach of his obligation to maintain an up to date and thorough working knowledge of the AFL Player Rules and other relevant Rules and Regulations of the AFL
He engaged in conduct that was materially detrimental to his client Kurt Tippett.
He made false declarations while acting in his capacity as an accredited agent.
As a result, Blucher has had his agent accreditation revoked, effective immediately, for one year. The suspension bans him from from representing any player. At the end of the suspension, he will be required to apply for a new accreditation. Part of this process is a three and a half hour exam in which he will be required to earn a 75% pass mark to demonstrate knowledge of the AFL Rules, Regulations and Policies, as well as the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Blucher's submission to the board did not contest the findings, only the length of the suspension.
In handing down the decision, AFLPA president Ian Prendergast noted that Blucher had cooperated throughout the course of the investigation. The board also determined that there had been no deliberate wrong-doing or dishonesty on Blucher's part. Prendergast also noted that Blucher was remorseful and said in part, "Peter's explanation was certainly very human in terms of trusting representations of others around him ...". As a result, the board also determined that Blucher had failed " ... to exercise the due care, skill and diligence required of an accredited agent." Prendergast and the AFLPA believe the outcome will send a strong message to all agents and companies that they must adhere to the rules in place and the standards required while representing players in all matters.
While the board does have the authority to sanction individual agents, it does not have any authority over management agencies such as Velocity Sports, for whom Blucher worked. However, Prendergast noted that the sanction could impact the company's reputation. Velocity represents about 45 AFL players.
Blucher has worked as a player agent for over six years and has been involved in the AFL industry in a variety of roles for over 30 years. During that time, he had close associations with AFL and club representatives, including board members, club CEOs, senior coaches, club captains and media people. Some of these were brought into the hearing as character witnesses for Blucher.
Source: theage.com.au, Heath Evans, AFLPA Media Release
Article last changed on Monday, February 04, 2013 - 8:52 PM EST