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Gillon McLachlan says Swans' offer to Buddy is an 'extraordinary risk'

AFL DEPUTY chief executive Gillon McLachlan says the Sydney Swans' nine-year offer to Lance Franklin is an "extraordinary risk", but the League has no authority to step in and stop clubs make progressive decisions. 

The AFL ratified the Swans' long-term offer to Franklin on Tuesday, leaving the Hawks three days to match the terms or let the star goalkicker move north.  


It was confirmed on Tuesday that the Hawks compensation would be capped at one draft pick. 

It was also detailed that in the event Franklin retired before his contract was completed, his terms would remain part of the Swans' total player payments, even though the Swans would no longer be paying him. 

McLachlan said the League had sought and received acknowledgement from the Swans' board of the risk they were taking. 

"It's such an extraordinary risk in many respects that the Sydney Swans board has taken," he told Gillette AFL Trade Radio

"I know a number of clubs and boards that wouldn't do that because of the risk they're taking on behalf of their club. 

"We've made sure that the board members ... understand the risk they are taking with this contract. I'm not sure we could do much more than that. 

"We don't have any authority to step in and stop boards from making decisions."

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The Swans' offer to Franklin was lodged with the AFL last Friday and took four days to be approved, but McLachlan said it was regular practice to review the details of all contracts.  

"This is more significant given it's the biggest deal I think ever lodged … they were examining the bona fides of the deal," he said. 

"It's a risk, but I think you've also got to back in Andrew Ireland and the Sydney football department, who have proven to be extraordinary list managers. 

"We have to let football clubs make decisions."

McLachlan said the AFL worked through the implications of the deal, and the "exposure and the risks" for the Swans, given Franklin will be 35 in the final year of the proposed deal. 

The League was satisfied the Swans understood their obligations to pay Franklin for the duration of his contract if he was unavailable because of injury.  

"All of that money must be in the TPP (total player payments)," McLachlan said.  

"They understand that they are obliged to pay the amount of money that's lodged and they understood the risk of injuries and other things when they signed up for it. 

"Ultimately they do that within the knowledge that the [cost of living] allowances they've had historically may not be there.

"They had to factor that in when they made the decision."