Following an investigation by its Legal, Integrity and Compliance Department, the AFL today ratified the long term contract offer from the Sydney Swans Football Club to Hawthorn Football Club player and restricted free agent Lance Franklin, subject to certain conditions being met.

The offer was today forwarded to the Hawthorn FC, who now have three days to decide whether to match the offer or not.

Inquiries were made to ensure any agreements, arrangements or understandings to be entered into are in accordance with the AFL Rules and are not in breach of Rules relating to conduct prejudicial to the Draft, Player Movement Rules and/or the Total Player Payments (TPP) provisions.

AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said the AFL had examined the draft Sydney Swans FC contract for player Franklin and conducted formal interviews with the key parties involved around the detail of the proposed arrangement.  

Mr Dillon said the AFL acknowledged that the nature of the nine-year deal was an unprecedented commitment of TPP funds to a single player over such a contract length and as a result the AFL sought a number of written guarantees from all members of the Club’s Board, as well as its senior management.

These included:

•         An explicit acknowledgement that the long-term specific financial commitment over the nine-year agreement will apply to the Sydney Swans FC’s Total Player Payments (TPP) for each of the nine years, regardless of how many years Franklin is available to play for the club.

•         The Swans’ Board and senior management will be required to meet with the AFL on an annual basis specifically to review how the Club is managing its TPP obligations in regards to the Franklin contract.

•         An assurance the Board has been provided with all information it required to properly assess the contract offer, including medical reviews and financial planning around the club’s long-term TPP postion.

Separately, Mr Dillon said the AFL had also reconfirmed to the Sydney Swans board and senior management that all club and player allowances, including the Cost Of Living Allowance, were currently being reviewed by the AFL with the prospect of variations from the 2015 season as part of broader revenue-sharing reforms to the competition.

Therefore, the Sydney Swans FC understood that it may need to accommodate the long-term Franklin contract in an environment in which the Cost of Living Allowance has been altered or removed altogether.