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AFL slams reports of Buddy push to GWS

Ben Guthrie  March 5, 2013 10:29 AM

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Andrew Demetriou has denied the AFL will help lure Lance Franklin to GWS


AFL CHIEF executive Andrew Demetriou has vehemently denied the League is trying to lure Hawthorn star Lance Franklin to Greater Western Sydney.

A newspaper report on Tuesday suggested the AFL could pay Franklin to be an ambassador of the game, outside the club's salary cap, if he committed to Greater Western Sydney.

While a fired-up Demetriou confirmed the AFL could make Franklin an ambassador, he said the League would play no part in supplying any incentive for the Hawks star to leave the club.

"If they were to procure him and our commercial people came to me and said he would be good value as an ambassador then we would consider it," Demetriou told SEN on Tuesday morning.

"But under no circumstance is the AFL interested in inducing any player to go to any other club; we wouldn't do it."

When contacted by AFL.com.au on Tuesday morning, Greater Western Sydney and Hawthorn offered no comment to the story.

Demetriou said he was asked to respond to a hypothetical question and was disappointed to see his comments misconstrued.

"This is possibly one of the biggest beat-ups on what is a non-news day that I've ever come across," Demetriou said.

"I want Buddy Franklin to stay at Hawthorn and under no circumstance will the AFL be involved in trying to recruit any player from any club."

Franklin could be compensated as an ambassador much in the same way as rugby league converts Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt.

The Hawks spearhead shocked club management in January when he put all contract talks on hold until the end of the season.

Some fear his unwillingness to sign will create distraction for the Hawks this season, similar to how the Travis Cloke contract saga played out at Collingwood last year.

Franklin's manager Liam Pickering has denied he has taken offers from opposition clubs, but the reported asking price for Franklin's services would be in excess of $1 million a season.

Ben Guthrie is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter- @AFL_BenGuthrie