Sydney Swans Boss Fires Back At Criticism Over Lance Franklin Recruitment
Australian Football League Sydney Chair Richard Colless has urged the league to investigate the club ''as soon as possible,'' saying that the Swans "have done nothing wrong" in their bid to lure player Lance Franklin, according to Andrew Wu of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Colless "has also defended the AFL's cost-of-living allowance to the two Sydney clubs in the face of mounting criticism from Victorian clubs." Colless described the reaction from Melbourne teams to the Franklin deal as ''breathtaking hypocrisy'' and said suggestions the Swans had acted inappropriately were ''insulting'' (SMH, 10/2). In Sydney, David Sygall wrote former footballer Bob Skilton expressed "shock and concern at the controversial coup." Skilton, whose name adorns the Swans' best-and-fairest award, said that there was "no doubt about Franklin's playing abilities." Skilton: ''I just hope he doesn't ruin the structure that we've built." Skilton said the effort that went into creating the Swans' "culture of focus and success should not be jeopardised for any one player." Skilton: "I'm just rapt in the way we are so respected by everybody now, and I want to maintain that'' (SMH, 10/3). In Melbourne, Mark Robinson reported Colless "admits there is a risk on and off the field in the recruiting" of Franklin. Colless was satisfied the club could help any player "curb" excessive social behavior. Colless: "Guys like this come along once in a generation and we think we have a pretty good record of curbing guys' excessive social behavior" (HERALD SUN, 10/3).