Essendon trade moves and the secret 'COLA'-style payments people still don't understand

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Thread starter #1
Quick version : The AFL allowed Essendon to deliver big payments outside the salary cap in the form of legal settlements probably giving them a massive advantage over other clubs still to this day.

Long version: Essendon have done absolutely nothing wrong as they simply followed the AFL's directives. This is not the 'supplements saga', this is more like COLA. It was AFL, whether intentionally or incompetently, compromising the competition again.

The reason it's interesting to bring it up now is that generally people didn't understand the possible implications at the time and still don't. They didn't seem to get that it could allow Essendon to retain (almost) all of its gun players and young talent while raiding genuine talent elsewhere for a number of years. And that is what we are starting to really see now - seemingly no pressure to retain wanted (from outside) players and the ability to go after multiple big signings in consecutive years.

Essentially Essendon was allowed to make discretionary payments to players outside the cap who they were simultaneously trying to keep contracted at the club and negotiating salaries with, with the only oversight being that Essendon had to pay 'market value'. This means they couldn't take the absolute piss with the cap, but it did mean that they could easily free up extra cash for each player and allow further room to maneuver with front-loaded and back-loaded contracts. It reduced the likelihood of paying overs for required players, helping list management. This means the effects were always going to last for many years after the payments.

Collingwood would love to pay Tom Lynch a 3 million dollar settlement if he stubbed his toe while meeting Bucks, pay him a bit less on his contract than otherwise and use the spare cash to help fend off any future plays for Stephenson. A settlement is just a payment from a club to a player outside the cap. It's ridiculous that essentially only Jake Niall in the media realised this was a problem at the time (but even he couldn't see how inadequate the 'fix' was) and other clubs have screwed up badly by not pushing back on the AFL.

Lastly, someone will post that these were just insurance payments - this is a lie. Insurance covered SOME of the payment amounts, but Essendon was paying discretionary amounts to different players from its own pocket.
 

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Kent Brockman

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#3
Quick version : The AFL allowed Essendon to deliver big payments outside the salary cap in the form of legal settlements probably giving them a massive advantage over other clubs still to this day.

Long version: Essendon have done absolutely nothing wrong as they simply followed the AFL's directives. This is not the 'supplements saga', this is more like COLA. It was AFL, whether intentionally or incompetently, compromising the competition again.

The reason it's interesting to bring it up now is that generally people didn't understand the possible implications at the time and still don't. They didn't seem to get that it could allow Essendon to retain (almost) all of its gun players and young talent while raiding genuine talent elsewhere for a number of years. And that is what we are starting to really see now - seemingly no pressure to retain wanted (from outside) players and the ability to go after multiple big signings in consecutive years.

Essentially Essendon was allowed to make discretionary payments to players outside the cap who they were simultaneously trying to keep contracted at the club and negotiating salaries with, with the only oversight being that Essendon had to pay 'market value'. This means they couldn't take the absolute piss with the cap, but it did mean that they could easily free up extra cash for each player and allow further room to maneuver with front-loaded and back-loaded contracts. It reduced the likelihood of paying overs for required players, helping list management. This means the effects were always going to last for many years after the payments.

Collingwood would love to pay Tom Lynch a 3 million dollar settlement if he stubbed his toe while meeting Bucks, pay him a bit less on his contract than otherwise and use the spare cash to help fend off any future plays for Stephenson. A settlement is just a payment from a club to a player outside the cap. It's ridiculous that essentially only Jake Niall in the media realised this was a problem at the time (but even he couldn't see how inadequate the 'fix' was) and other clubs have screwed up badly by not pushing back on the AFL.

Lastly, someone will post that these were just insurance payments - this is a lie. Insurance covered SOME of the payment amounts, but Essendon was paying discretionary amounts to different players from its own pocket.
One of the biggest rorts in footy. It's almost fishy that this was barely covered in the media.
 

blitzer

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#6
I reckon a bigger factor which nobody talks about is the fact that we signed up our best players to long term deals during their year off and the implications of that timing. This included guys like Hurley, Hooker and Heppell. At the time we paid rates which were considered to be 'above market value' and everyone was saying "sucked in you're paying too much for these guys because of your situation". Then a year later the salary cap increases significantly and our long term deals suddenly look very modest.

Anyway I haven't seen any evidence that we are doing anything different to a team like Hawthorn who have also been bringing in quality players without losing anyone. Nor have I heard anyone saying that we have a list of superstars.

I guess anyone can believe what they want to believe because only the AFL has the answers and they aren't speaking up.
 

Power Raid

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#8
Quick version : The AFL allowed Essendon to deliver big payments outside the salary cap in the form of legal settlements probably giving them a massive advantage over other clubs still to this day.

Long version: Essendon have done absolutely nothing wrong as they simply followed the AFL's directives. This is not the 'supplements saga', this is more like COLA. It was AFL, whether intentionally or incompetently, compromising the competition again.

The reason it's interesting to bring it up now is that generally people didn't understand the possible implications at the time and still don't. They didn't seem to get that it could allow Essendon to retain (almost) all of its gun players and young talent while raiding genuine talent elsewhere for a number of years. And that is what we are starting to really see now - seemingly no pressure to retain wanted (from outside) players and the ability to go after multiple big signings in consecutive years.

Essentially Essendon was allowed to make discretionary payments to players outside the cap who they were simultaneously trying to keep contracted at the club and negotiating salaries with, with the only oversight being that Essendon had to pay 'market value'. This means they couldn't take the absolute piss with the cap, but it did mean that they could easily free up extra cash for each player and allow further room to maneuver with front-loaded and back-loaded contracts. It reduced the likelihood of paying overs for required players, helping list management. This means the effects were always going to last for many years after the payments.

Collingwood would love to pay Tom Lynch a 3 million dollar settlement if he stubbed his toe while meeting Bucks, pay him a bit less on his contract than otherwise and use the spare cash to help fend off any future plays for Stephenson. A settlement is just a payment from a club to a player outside the cap. It's ridiculous that essentially only Jake Niall in the media realised this was a problem at the time (but even he couldn't see how inadequate the 'fix' was) and other clubs have screwed up badly by not pushing back on the AFL.

Lastly, someone will post that these were just insurance payments - this is a lie. Insurance covered SOME of the payment amounts, but Essendon was paying discretionary amounts to different players from its own pocket.
the fact this happened, by itself, isn't an issue

the fact this happened, and wasn't disclosed, suggests this is a massive issue


The AFL never learn. Who ever was in charge at the time has to go.
 

The Prosecutor

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#9
Quick version : The AFL allowed Essendon to deliver big payments outside the salary cap in the form of legal settlements probably giving them a massive advantage over other clubs still to this day.

Long version: Essendon have done absolutely nothing wrong as they simply followed the AFL's directives. This is not the 'supplements saga', this is more like COLA. It was AFL, whether intentionally or incompetently, compromising the competition again.

The reason it's interesting to bring it up now is that generally people didn't understand the possible implications at the time and still don't. They didn't seem to get that it could allow Essendon to retain (almost) all of its gun players and young talent while raiding genuine talent elsewhere for a number of years. And that is what we are starting to really see now - seemingly no pressure to retain wanted (from outside) players and the ability to go after multiple big signings in consecutive years.

Essentially Essendon was allowed to make discretionary payments to players outside the cap who they were simultaneously trying to keep contracted at the club and negotiating salaries with, with the only oversight being that Essendon had to pay 'market value'. This means they couldn't take the absolute piss with the cap, but it did mean that they could easily free up extra cash for each player and allow further room to maneuver with front-loaded and back-loaded contracts. It reduced the likelihood of paying overs for required players, helping list management. This means the effects were always going to last for many years after the payments.

Collingwood would love to pay Tom Lynch a 3 million dollar settlement if he stubbed his toe while meeting Bucks, pay him a bit less on his contract than otherwise and use the spare cash to help fend off any future plays for Stephenson. A settlement is just a payment from a club to a player outside the cap. It's ridiculous that essentially only Jake Niall in the media realised this was a problem at the time (but even he couldn't see how inadequate the 'fix' was) and other clubs have screwed up badly by not pushing back on the AFL.

Lastly, someone will post that these were just insurance payments - this is a lie. Insurance covered SOME of the payment amounts, but Essendon was paying discretionary amounts to different players from its own pocket.
Essendon organised for outside counsel to negotiate fair and appropriate settlements with each player without the involvement of the Board and Executive (in order to avoid the issues raised).

Your post is simply crap masquerading as fact and this been pointed out to you even years ago when you were flogging this line.
 

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Crankyhawk

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#15
I reckon a bigger factor which nobody talks about is the fact that we signed up our best players to long term deals during their year off and the implications of that timing. This included guys like Hurley, Hooker and Heppell. At the time we paid rates which were considered to be 'above market value' and everyone was saying "sucked in you're paying too much for these guys because of your situation". Then a year later the salary cap increases significantly and our long term deals suddenly look very modest.

Anyway I haven't seen any evidence that we are doing anything different to a team like Hawthorn who have also been bringing in quality players without losing anyone. Nor have I heard anyone saying that we have a list of superstars.

I guess anyone can believe what they want to believe because only the AFL has the answers and they aren't speaking up.
Daniher as well. At the time I remember how small his contract seemed (in the context of boyd $1 million)
 
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Thread starter #18
I reckon a bigger factor which nobody talks about is the fact that we signed up our best players to long term deals during their year off and the implications of that timing. This included guys like Hurley, Hooker and Heppell. At the time we paid rates which were considered to be 'above market value' and everyone was saying "sucked in you're paying too much for these guys because of your situation". Then a year later the salary cap increases significantly and our long term deals suddenly look very modest.

Anyway I haven't seen any evidence that we are doing anything different to a team like Hawthorn who have also been bringing in quality players without losing anyone. Nor have I heard anyone saying that we have a list of superstars.

I guess anyone can believe what they want to believe because only the AFL has the answers and they aren't speaking up.
I have heard that narrative about Essendon planning the cap better - but it's a relatively convenient report in the context of these payments. Either way, both could be true.

This is entirely on the AFL anyway. Essendon said 'what do we have to do to ensure we are compliant with the cap?' And then Essendon complied.

So it's just tough shit for the rest of the clubs who couldn't figure out it was really dumb to not challenge it.
 

Bunk Moreland

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#19
Lastly, someone will post that these were just insurance payments - this is a lie. Insurance covered SOME of the payment amounts, but Essendon was paying discretionary amounts to different players from its own pocket.
Any facts on this, or are you just making stuff up?
 
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Thread starter #21
I'm so over reading about the Essendon supplements scandal that should have been resolved in 2012, frankly I couldn't care less.
The majority will say this and the majority already have. It's related to that scandal but only as the catalyst for the payments. This is a salary cap issue that actually still impacts the competition, it's not the drug issue that doesn't.
 
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