RICHMOND boss Brendon Gale concedes the television announcement of the multi-million dollar re-signing of star Dustin Martin was far from ideal but flagged it as the way of the future.
The Tigers missed the opportunity to release one of the biggest news stories in the club's history, having to hand control to Martin and his manager Ralph Carr, who sold it to Channel Nine's The Footy Show for a reported $50,000.
It was shades of NBA star LeBron James, who announced his deal with Miami Heat via a live television special titled 'The Decision'.
Gale said the Tigers would have preferred to make the announcement themselves.
"It certainly wasn't our preference," Gale said.
"The most important thing about this footy club is our members and we would much prefer that we had given our members the opportunity to hear first."
With Martin reportedly giving up as much as $2 million dollars in choosing the Tigers over a mega-deal offered by North Melbourne, Gale said he couldn't deny him the television pay-off.
"I'm not going to begrudge Dustin - he's turned his back on a lot of money which is incredible, so to do a paid exclusive interview and get a bit of earn, I'm comfortable with that and I'm sure our fans are comfortable too," he said.
"I could have made the announcement nude and our fans wouldn't care."
Gale said the way the news was released was something that clubs may have to get used to.
"Clubs do tend to want to control everything but perhaps it's the way of future, that the nature of our business is increasingly an entertainment business.
Despite the massive deal Gale didn't think Martin, who has always been reticent about the spotlight and the media, would become a spokesman for the club.
"I wouldn't expect much change in the way he goes about things; for us the high payoff is the way he goes about things on the footy field," Gale said.
"He's extraordinarily popular but that comes through his on-field deeds."