Buddy will go, Hawk fans say
Matt Thompson talks to Hawks fans about Lance Franklin's big decision
Hawthorn fans surveyed by AFL.com.au think Lance Franklin will leave
HAWTHORN fans surveyed by AFL.com.au are united in their belief Lance Franklin will leave the club for an enormous cash offer he simply can't refuse.
A poll taken outside Etihad Stadium ahead of Friday night's game against West Coast found an overwhelming majority of supporters are resigned to losing the champion forward to a rival club.
Tasmanian fan Gary, 57, said he was resigned to Buddy leaving because it was a "commercial reality".
"For that amount of money he's got to go. There's no loyalty, there's no loyalty to the clubs, the clubs would sack him tomorrow if he couldn't play," Gary said.
Fans also believe Franklin is replaceable.
"Go, go to GWS. We've got enough players coming up through the ranks," Liz, 21, from Upwey said.
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"He'd be a crazy man to knock back $12 million and I think Hawthorn can find somebody that can replace him," Drew, 57, from Melton said.
"I think he'll go. An extra $8 million, he'd be mad not to wouldn't he? I'd go, put it that way," said Neil, 70, from Lower Templestowe.
George, 42, from Perth was one of the few Hawks fans surveyed who thought Franklin would stay, but like most he was confident the forward could be replaced if he departs.
"He can go if we wants to. I think we've got enough goalkickers here, we'll be right. Buddy's who he wants to be I suppose," George said.
If Franklin does make a move, particularly to an emerging club like Greater Western Sydney, he could be eligible for a lucrative AFL ambassadorship.
But the League insists such an income boost could only be negotiated separately after a decision to sign had been made.
"If Buddy Franklin decides to go to another club or any player decides to go to another club, if there was a legitimate role for a particular reason, the AFL would look at it on its merits," AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said on Radio 3AW on Friday.
Demetriou said the AFL would not be involved in encouraging Franklin to join the Giants.
"We have no role in attracting any player from any club to another club," he said.
"We are not enticing Buddy Franklin to go to any club."
Franklin put contract talks on hold ahead of the 2013 season, declaring he won't negotiate until the Hawks' campaign is over.
Matt Thompson is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @MattThompsonAFL