West Coast have launched a scathing attack on the AFL over its decision to only award them a second-round draft pick for the loss of free agent Scott Selwood.
Selwood joined Geelong as a restricted free agent on Monday after the Eagles decided not to match the offer that the Cats tendered last Friday.
West Coast released a statement thanking Selwood for his contribution but the AFL’s decision to award them a second-round pick (currently No. 37) was not well-received.
“Why have Restricted Free Agency and Free Agency Compensation if you are to be treated with such disrespect?” West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett fumed in a statement released on Monday evening.
“The West Coast Eagles has been the home of Scott Selwood for eight years and he is approaching the prime of his career at 25 years of age.
“He was our vice-captain, he has been trained up by the club and we need to replace him.
“We think we acted in a totally professional manner in allowing Scott to go to Geelong, the club of his choice, for a number of compelling reasons and his value has only been judged on how much money he gets paid. “The AFL will say that we had the right to match the offer, and yes we did, but it was not in the interests of the player or the club. The level of compensation for losing our vice-captain is totally inadequate.”
Nisbett called for a thorough review of the entire free agency system, with his displeasure at the perceived compensation snub leading him to take aim at key AFL decision makers.
“I believe that Andrew Dillon (AFL legal counsel) and Ken Wood (total player payments manager) have got this totally wrong and we are extremely disappointed,” he said.
In other trade news, the Eagles sent their first-round pick (currently No.17) to Brisbane in exchange for midfielder Jack Redden.