Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon is entirely confident his club and Collingwood will work out the financial aspect of Adam Treloar’s contract.
The two clubs are yet to determine who will be paying what percentage of the midfielder’s five-year contract after a trade was worked out on deadline day.
SEN Chief Reporter Sam Edmund reported last week that the two clubs were haggling over as much as $300,000 of Treloar’s contract per year.
Gordon however is comfortable with where things sit.
“It’s hardly as if you can be documenting each exchange in triplicate when there’s three minutes to go and you’re trying to do deals,” Gordon told SEN Mornings.
“It’s one thing to argue that critique about detail and another thing to look at the achievement of all parties that it actually got done under the pressure that was achieved.
“I think it is a mistake especially for young players to try and blitz the trade period. You make mistakes if you go in with the idea of humiliating the other side and knocking it out of the park.
“I think that a slow and steady approach to building your list is important and the ability to say no is important.
“I think all of those things came to the fore. The trade got made, it was a good trade and in everyone’s interest.
“When you’ve got clubs like the Bulldogs and Collingwood, we’ve got a very good relationship from the president down in each club, we understand each other’s problems, we understand the sort of inconsistencies that go on.
“We’ll sort out the detail with Collingwood in relation to that and we’ll all get on with our lives.
“I think people just need to understand it’s the industry.
“It’s not (resolved yet), but it will be. You’ve got two clubs that respect each other and a player both clubs respect … and a deal got done in extraordinary circumstances and sensible heads will prevail and we’ll do a deal.”
Chief SEN reporter Sammy Edmund has provided the latest on Adam Treloar and the haggling between Collingwood and the Bulldogs over his salary.
Despite the trade being completed, the teams remain in talks over who will be paying what percentage of his remaining $4.5 million over the next five years.
Edmund believes the gap in discussions is currently over roughly $300,000 per season.
“As of yesterday it’s still a genuine stalemate,” Edmund told SEN Mornings.
“So, broadly speaking, this hinges on the Dogs believing that Collingwood’s contribution was agreed to before the trade was completed.
“The Dogs say that the Pies now, after the fact, claim there was an agreement to review their contribution later.
“Collingwood, for their part, well they believe there was an agreement to get the trade through initially and talk about the money later and that was based on the trade that actually happened.
“The trade was won by the Dogs, no question about it, which is why the Pies believe it should affect the money they contribute to Adam Treloar’s contract.
“The Western Bulldogs were committed to paying, and this has been consistent throughout in the conversation I’ve had, $600,000 per year for Treloar for the next five years. They weren’t going to bend on that.
“Now at Collingwood, he was due to be paid somewhere between $700,000 and $750,000 next year and then more than $900,000 per season for the four years thereafter.
“Essentially he was due $4.5 million by the end of the 2025 season. So that’s a $1.5 million gap across the five years on the face of it between the Dogs deal and the Pies deal that was already in place.
“That’s about $300,000 per year on average – that’s a pretty good player, it must be said.
“Adam Treloar rightly won’t budge on being paid $4.5 million until 2025. He’s agreed to that and that’s what he’s owed, but within that $4.5 million, the Pies actually owe Treloar around $850,000.
“That’s the money he has pushed back within this $4.5 million. Collingwood should have already paid him that money. That’s money he’s owed historically and that he sacrificed for many reasons as Collingwood chased that flag.
“It’s not unusual for this sort of thing to be taking place, but the size and length of this contract makes it unprecedented.”
The AFL last week gave the two teams an extension to work out the specifics of the deal.
Garry Lyon is in disbelief that the terms of Adam Treloar’s move to Western Bulldogs still haven’t been finalised.
It emerged this week that Collingwood and the Bulldogs were still negotiating the terms of Treloar’s exit, with AFL Media’s Damian Barrett reporting that the two parties remain as much as $200,000 apart on one season of his long-term deal.
The AFL recently granted the two clubs more time to work out the finer details of the contract.
The star midfielder’s lucrative deal was one of the key reasons why Collingwood were intent on finding him a new home during the recently-completed trade period as they battle salary cap pressure.
Lyon said the entire saga between Treloar and the two clubs sounded like “some backyard operation”.
“How can they be haggling over who’s paying what after the deal has been done,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“How does that happen in the modern professional age?
“Clearly, they haven’t signed off on the contract, they would’ve thought that they were running out of time and just had to get it done and (both parties will) sort it out on the other side.
“The Bulldogs would’ve said ‘just know we’re not paying the $950,000 (of Treloar’s deal)” and Collingwood would’ve gone ‘no worries’, the deal is done and now Collingwood is saying that they won’t want to pay $300,000 (of Treloar’s salary).
“This sounds like some backyard operation.”
Tim Watson can’t understand why Collingwood and Western Bulldogs are so far apart on negotiations, questioning the “ambiguity” of the deal.
“It wouldn’t be a verbal haggle,” he said.
“Someone is documenting this and they’re saying ‘we’ll take Treloar, but we won’t be paying the $950,000 owed so you’re going to take to carry $300,000 of that for the next five years’.
“I write that down, I’m taking meeting (notes) from this particular negotiation so there’s no ambiguity here.
The AFL has given the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood more time to negotiate how much the Magpies will contribute towards new Dog Adam Treloar’s contract.
Nominally the clubs have to lodge contract details by Friday afternoon when they make the first list lodgment, which includes preliminary salary cap projections. It is not uncommon for extensions to be granted by the AFL and the league has told the clubs they are flexible on the time frame for them to reach an agreement.
The two clubs had an amicable meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue in detail for the first time since the trade period ended, when the deal to trade Treloar was agreed in the final minute of the trade period that ended on November 12.
The discussions centre around what proportion of the $4.5 million contract each club will pay over the next five years. The two clubs did not put an agreement in writing in the trade period’s frantic conclusion.
Sources said Collingwood believed they would pay a minimal amount of the contract given the Bulldogs gave up relatively little in draft terms. Had Collingwood been able to draw a higher draft pick in the trade, then the club would have been prepared to pay more of the contract to square off getting a better draft pick.
The Bulldogs were of the view the Magpies would still pay a significant amount of Treloar’s contract because it still meant they were clearing a big chunk out of their salary cap.
There is scope for the AFL to be involved to mediate the issue and there is no risk of Treloar losing any of his entitlements.
Collingwood are also expected to announce Jordan De Goey has been re-signed on a two-year deal within the next fortnight, club sources say, as they continue to reshape their list ahead of a crucial national draft on December 9.
The list reshape follows a tumultuous trade period for the club, when Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson, Tom Phillips and Atu Bosenavulagi were traded.
The Magpies have picks 14 and 16 in the first round as well as picks 65 and 70 in this year’s draft, but hold a future first-round and two future second-round picks in next year’s draft, where they are likely to gain highly rated father-son prospect Nick Daicos.
Coach Nathan Buckley admitted mistakes were made during the trade period but the course was the right one for the club to take.
On Wednesday the club delisted Rupert Wills and Flynn Appleby while coming to an arrangement with Magpies premiership player and best-and-fairest winner Dayne Beams, which allowed the 30-year-old to formally retire with two years remaining on his contract.
Brody Mihocek has extended for three seasons, while Tom Langdon’s future remains up in the air. The contracted defender admitted at the start of the season he would contemplate retirement if he could not shake a persistent knee injury.
The 24-year-old De Goey is facing an indecent assault charge for an incident that was alleged to have occurred in 2015. He was charged in July this year and was due to appear in the Magistrates Court last month but the matter was administratively adjourned until April next year.
Beams thanked Collingwood for their “understanding, patience and care” as he formalised his retirement before the AFL’s list lodgment deadline.
The 30-year-old Beams has not played since round 11, 2019, having been unable to train or play in 2020 due to his physical and mental health issues.
He played 119 games with Collingwood and 58 with the Brisbane Lions.
“Challenges remain. That’s life. But with experience, understanding and the help of many people I am in a stronger position to deal with them,” Beams said.
“I have many teammates and staff at Collingwood to thank for helping me through a particularly tough time. The club’s understanding, patience and care were always there and the fact we were able to come to a mutual agreement is important to me.”
Hawthorn delisted Harry Jones and Mathew Walker while offering Changkuoth Jiath and Keegan Brooksby one-year deals as rookies. The Hawks also delisted Dylan Moore but will add him to their rookie list.
Richmond signed Ryan Garthwaite and tall Ben Miller for another season but delisted defender Derek Eggmolesse-Smith.
Meanwhile, Melbourne’s Kade Kolodjashnij has decided to retire after battling with concussion since joining the Demons.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has admitted the club could’ve handled its public messaging better during its now-infamous trade period, but has insisted the club isn’t “pushing it to the side” and is listening to disgruntled fans.
The Pies offloaded four players in the trade period, with the most contentious of them all being star midfielder Adam Treloar.
Hundreds of club members have since started a petition demanding it stage an urgent general meeting and provide clarity to its supporters.
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Buckley: Brutal but necessary
Speaking on 3AW, McGuire said he and club officials felt the pain supporters were feeling now even before the trade strategy became public.
“People forget I’m just the elected leader of the fans. I’m one of them. I’m not ‘them’, I’m ‘us’. If I’m not the president of the football club I’m sitting in the outer yelling my lungs out like I am now, just not in a suit,” he said.
“We have people who trust us, we’ve been there for a fair while and I think we’ve done some pretty good things over the journey and positioned our club in a good way. The hardest decisions you make in life are the tough but right ones, not the popular ones.”
Central to the frustrations surrounding the club’s trade period was its lacklustre media availability, which made fans even more irate with the shock decisions.
McGuire said he had absolute confidence in those who made the contentious list calls, but admitted its messaging could’ve been clearer and more available.
“Our executive, which I’ve got full faith in, decided this was the strategy. Could it have done better as far as the PR? Probably, possibly. Would it have been the same result? I don’t know but it is where it landed,” he said.
Pies admit salary cap squeeze
“What we have to do is wish the players who have left us the best of luck, get in and recruit good young players and get stuck into 2021 when the time comes.”
With some supporters fearful their voices aren’t being heard, McGuire moved to assure them their anger had not gone unnoticed.
“Hopefully supporters understand where we are and if they don’t they can vent their anger and we’ll accept that and listen to it. You have to listen to everything that’s been said. Very rarely are people 100 per cent right or wrong … we’ve certainly listened to all those supporters, gone into detail on what they’ve had to say and taken that on board, no doubt about that,” he said.
“No one’s pushing it to the side saying ‘don’t worry about it’ – we went through all that pain beforehand and then we did it again when the supporters felt they needed to vent their spleen. We listened to it, we understand it and now we’re going to move forward together.”
An employment lawyer says Collingwood’s concerns that Adam Treloar’s family circumstances might have impacted his ability to play football are unfair and potentially discriminatory.
Adam Treloar’s partner, netballer Kim Ravaillion, is moving to Queensland because of her netball career
Nathan Buckley said Collingwood was concerned how being in a long-distance relationship would affect Treloar’s wellbeing
Giri Sivaraman says Collingwood’s approach would not be appropriate in any other workplace
Treloar was one of four Magpies players forced to find new clubs on a frenetic final day of the AFL’s trade period last week, as Collingwood tried to release pressure on its salary cap.
Despite having five years remaining on his contract, there had been intense speculation about Treloar’s future, after his partner Kim Ravaillion announced she was moving to Queensland with their infant daughter to continue her Super Netball career.
Ravaillion is rejoining the Queensland Firebirds — where she won two premierships prior to the start of Super Netball — in 2021 after three seasons with Collingwood.
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley told SEN radio on Monday that Treloar’s family situation was “a catalyst in some shape or form” for the club’s decision to considering trading the midfielder to another club.
Buckley said there was no way Treloar’s split from Collingwood could have been done “without trauma or pain”.
Giri Sivaraman, an employment lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, said Collingwood’s approach was not fair to Treloar.
“I’m very surprised,” he told the ABC.
“Effectively what he seems to be saying is: ‘We can’t keep you here because you might at some point have to support your wife, and or your child, and we can’t accommodate that.’
“Firstly, I wonder if that’s discrimination on the basis of carer responsibilities, and secondly, I think it’s just asking too much of someone. Whether it’s discriminatory or not, it certainly seems unfair.”
Mr Sivaraman said every employer had an obligation to accommodate carer responsibilities, and Collingwood’s approach would not be appropriate in any other workplace.
“There’s not even been an attempt to accommodate it here,” he said.
“They’ve just made the assumption that because his partner is moving interstate — just for the netball season I assume — that that’s just something they can’t accommodate.
“It’s like saying to someone who’s pregnant: ‘Well, even though you’ve said to me when you come back to work that you’ll be able to manage your job and care responsibilities, I just think you won’t be able to, therefore I’m not going to have a job for you when you come back.’
“Many women I’ve represented have been in that position and I’ve always said it’s unlawful.”
Buckley said it was Collingwood’s responsibility to work out how Treloar’s family situation would affect his job.
“We are within our rights to have an assessment of that given our knowledge of Adam and the experiences we’ve shared since he came to the club,” Buckley said, alluding to Treloar’s history of anxiety.
Mr Sivaraman said under workplace law employers also had an obligation to attempt to accommodate an employees’ mental or physical impairments.
“[Collingwood] has taken a different approach and decided, well it’s just not going to work and we don’t want what they perceive as a liability,” he said.
“I just think that’s disappointing.”
Mr Sivaraman said the management of Treloar and his family exemplifies how AFL clubs demanded a player’s “mind, body and soul”.
He said that ran counter to the general treatment expected from employers in 2020.
“What this year has shown us is that things that weren’t thought possible certainly are,” he said.
“The number of flexible work arrangements has stratospherically increased.”
Pies players treated ‘too good’: McGuire
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire rejected criticism the club had mistreated players it had traded.
“If there’s a criticism of what Collingwood did with its players in recent times it’s that they’ve looked after players too good as far as the salary cap was concerned,” McGuire told Triple M’s Hot Breakfast radio program.
“And the players have been sensational back-ending their contracts to make it happen because there was a window of opportunity [for a flag].”
McGuire suggested the fallout over the Magpies’ trading period was a media beat-up.
“It’s a big story because the other stories have been done to death for 10 days and Collingwood didn’t do a whole lot on (AFL) Trade Radio and things like that,” he said.
“The media always like to come after people who aren’t racing to be on those types of things.
“Nuance is everything. We could’ve gone on with the salary cap, so it wasn’t as if it was a fire sale. We changed, we pivoted and we’re looking ahead.”
Part of Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley’s reasoning for offloading Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson would be “as big a kick in the ass as anything” to the pair, according to Melbourne legend Garry Lyon.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his side’s contentious trade period, Buckley opened up on the shock decisions to part ways with Treloar, Stephenson and wingman Tom Phillips, contending that Treloar’s trade was a brutal “business decision”.
Reflecting on the interview during SEN Breakfast, Lyon drew attention to one particular quote from Buckley, who spoke about the impact the decisions could have in 2021.
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Pies admit salary cap squeeze
“We’ve let some talent go, there’s no doubt. The perception is we’re going to be worse off in 2021. It’s our determination that we’ve actually let players go that we can replace,” Buckley said in the interview.
“It’s our determination with our knowledge that we’ve let players go that won’t actually damage the fabric of our playing group.
“That’s not to say they weren’t liked or respected. In every organisation there’s glue guys, people fundamental to who you are – sometimes the perception from outside is not actually what you see and what you live inside, so that was part of our determination.”
After replaying the comments, Lyon suggested they served as a “sting in the tail” for Stephenson and particularly Treloar.
“So what he’s saying is the supporters might love Adam and Jaidyn and say they’re much-loved guys, but in their eyes he wasn’t a fabric guy or a glue guy. I thought that was a real sting in the tail there.
“That last bit there, ‘the perception from the outside’. What he’s saying there is ‘I’ve heard all this stuff about Treloar and how he’s a much-loved player and Jaidyn and how we’re going to miss his talent – we can replace them. They’re not fabric guys, they’re not glue guys.’
“That’s as big a kick in the ass as anything, particularly for Treloar. That’s a big slap.”
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says the club was forced to drive Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson out of the club due to their ongoing salary cap problems.
Treloar, Stephenson, Tom Phillips and Atu Bosenavulagi were all traded by the Magpies in what Buckley described as the “toughest day” in his football career.
“Yes, we had to (drive them out), we had to,” Buckley told SEN’s Whateley.
“The conversations were pretty short and sharp and for a varying number of reasons – some inside of their control and some with absolutely nothing to do with those individuals.
“We needed to make those decisions and force those outcomes. There was a forced element to it, and it’s been on the cards for probably the last three or four years.
“We decided to keep the group together as much as possible and that required us to push back these cap issues – for right or for wrong – and there’s a lot of things that have come to pass in the last 12-24 months that have brought these decisions forward.
“We felt that this was the time that we needed to stop pushing out pain into the future and take it all in one gulp now.”
Buckley said trading Treloar to the Western Bulldogs with five years to run on his contract was ultimately a “business decision”.
“As soon as we determined that this was the way we were going to go, I didn’t think it was going to be pretty,” he said.
“Adam’s a heart and soul person. My personal relationship with him is important to me. We’re really close but obviously it’s strained at the moment and the dust is yet to settle on that.
“This is a break-up. This is something that he was aware of 12 months ago that became more real and it’s been difficult – difficult for him and difficult for us as a football club.
“But it was a business decision, unfortunately.
“The leaders were aware of decision that the list management group had made soon after the season. It was done to be able to provide genuine support and to have a knowledge of what Adam was facing.
“There was one element of specific on-field feedback that I gave Adam in the early stages immediately after the season which related to on-field connection and that came through reviews from the last couple of years. It was something that he understood.
“Potentially those two things put together were perceived as your teammates don’t support you or don’t want you at the football club – and clearly there’s something in my communication that has failed there for Adam to feel that (not wanted).
“I needed to be better in that regard.”
Buckley also explained how Stephenson’s situation played out after the forward told SEN Drive that he called the Magpies coach to clarify whether he was up for trade.
“This is the reason they have managers, to manage their football and professional affairs,” he said.
“That was communicated – the concept of exploring a trade for Jaidyn who had a couple of years to run on his contract.
“That concept was floated through our list management crew with his management. Jaidyn was aware in his exit (meeting) that there was a possibility that we would explore that.
“The call that he gave to me was two weeks later in the middle of the trade period which was basically he wanted to confirm is this what I was looking for?
“I had to be clear to him that this was where the football club needs to go, if you’ve got an opportunity to go elsewhere, I would take it.
“And that’s where that conversation came about. Jaidyn called me but he was aware of his situation through his management before that.”
“The leaders were aware of the decision that the list management group had made soon after the season. That was done out of respect for the leaders and [for them to] provide genuine support.
“There was one one specific bit of on-field feedback [to Treloar] related to on-field connection … Potentially those two things put together [with telling senior players] were perceived as ‘your teammates don’t support you or don’t want you at the football club’. There’s something in my communication that has failed for Adam to feel that … I need to be better in that regard.
“This is a break-up. This is something he was aware of 12 months ago that became more real now and it’s been difficult … it was a business decision unfortunately.
“By having to make these brutal decisions, which are clearly against the individuals wants and needs, I feel like we are actually being side-by-side with what the remainder of the club … are looking for.”
Buckley said Treloar’s partner Kim Ravaillion moving to Queensland for netball was a “catalyst in some shape or form” for the trade and to start a conversation with him about a move, but he also said Collingwood’s salary cap situation, which has been remedied following the trade period, made the club feel like it had “one hand tied behind its back” in recent years.
Buckley also addressed Stephenson’s claim that he did not hear from anyone at the club after he was told by management he was up for trade.
“My manager sort of came to me, and then I heard nothing from the club. I gave Bucks [Buckley] a call myself to see what was going on and he just pretty much said, ‘Mate, look for a trade as aggressively as you want and we’ll try facilitate it.’ There wasn’t a very clear reasoning or anything but like I said I think it’s all worked out for the best,” Stephenson said last Thursday, after his trade went through.
Buckley responded on Monday: “The communication between a club and a manager often informs the progress of a decision [to the player] … That concept was floated through our list management crew with his management. Jaidyn was aware in his exit [interview] that there was a possibility that we would explore that and look for that.
“He wanted to confirm if this is what I was looking for … ‘Is this what you want?’ I had to be clear to him then that this is where the football club needs to go. If you’ve got an opportunity elsewhere, mate, I would take it.”
Buckley said he has called Stephenson, Bosenavalugi, Treloar and Phillips since their trades.
“I can understand it [the anger from fans]. Probably not, no [have I seen the fans this angry],” he said.
“There’s a lot of things that we could have done better over the recent past.
“It’s brutal but we feel it was needed.
“How do you honour the individual whilst doing what is needed for the whole?
“We can’t keep every person on our list … we can’t pay outside of the cap.
“Yes, we had to [actively drive the players out of the club]. The conversations were pretty short and sharp … some [reasons] inside of their control and some nothing to do with those individuals.
“This gives us the best chance of contending on field [for a premiership].
“It’s been on the cards for probably the last three or four years.”
Buckley accepted the club did not get market value in the short-term for the players, but that the club had let players go that could be replaced without damaging the fabric of the playing group overall.
Buckley’s appearance on radio comes a day after CEO Mark Anderson sent a letter to fans, saying salary cap issues were “key” to the decision to move on players.