MICK Malthouse says the Sydney Swans' cost-of-living allowance is a "bloody disgrace", and the veteran coach has accused the AFL of failing to provide a level playing field across the competition.
Malthouse's outburst followed revelations that the Swans had tabled a lucrative contract for restricted free agent Lance Franklin.
The deal will make Franklin a Swan for life with a nine-year contract worth around $10 million.
The salary cap concessions afforded to the Swans came under fire last year as well when - following the club's premiership victory - it signed Adelaide forward Kurt Tippett on a large contract.
Speaking at Carlton's best and fairest count, Malthouse claimed the Swans had an unfair advantage.
"It's a bloody disgrace," Malthouse said on Tuesday night.
"We hope that the board, along with the other 16 other boards - we know that Greater Western Sydney won't because they've got control of the AFL - will have some formal say in regard to whether the Commission stays in power or is challenged because of this unequal position we find ourselves in.
"We will cop it, we will fight. You've got to remember since the AFL named this as an AFL competition in 1990, there's six clubs that haven’t won. There's three of the older clubs, Melbourne, Footscray and St Kilda, '54, '64 and '66 were the last time they won."
The Blues are evidently seething, with club president Stephen Kernahan also taking the chance to criticise the Swans' cap allowance.
"I'm not that happy tonight," Kernahan said.
"All this footy club has ever wanted forever is an equal playing field. That hasn't happened over the last twelve months."
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire joined the chorus, saying the Swans' cost-of-living allowance was a "rort".
"There's plenty of people around the place saying this is just not fair," McGuire told AFL360.
"Collingwood, the richest club in the AFL, who would love to have another power forward, didn't even contemplate speaking to Lance Franklin because we can't get at these third-party deals because the AFL is all over us.
"We do not have a cost of living component.
"If two of them (Tippett and Franklin) have got 20 per cent of the salary cap, they're getting 20 per cent of the cost of living.
"This is ridiculous. It is a straight-forward rort. This is an ultimate poke in the eye and it's not the Sydney Swans' fault.
"Good on them for going as hard as they can. It is yet again the AFL's problem.
"Hawthorn probably should lose a player after winning the flag but not to Sydney. They should have gone to Greater Western Sydney or somebody down that end of the ladder."
McGuire says it's no secret the success of the Swans is vital for the League's national profile.
"They've got to go through these things and decide whether they're running a competition or they're running a marketing competition," McGuire said.
"It has left a really nasty taste in a lot of people's mouths today.
"I've been screaming about it now for 11 years.
"Should we just blow the competition up and just go stealing everyone's players and not have Melbourne and St Kilda and Western Bulldogs in the future? Just have the top teams pulling all the deals together?
"Or do we sign up to what we all signed up to in the first place and that would be a fair and equitable salary cap to allow all clubs to have the chance?"
GWS on Tuesday withdrew their six-year offer to Franklin as Sydney muscled in.
"You'd have to ask yourself today is this the right result for the competition?," GWS chief executive David Matthews said.
"The competition sets itself up with rules to try to equalise the distribution of talent and two years in a row you see a top club getting probably the highest-profile uncontracted free agent."