Swans hits back at COLA criticism

Sydney chief executive Andrew Ireland. Photo: Angela Wylie
Sydney chief executive Andrew Ireland. Photo: Angela Wylie

Football's cost of living allowance war continues to rage, with Sydney hitting back at severe criticism about special treatment during the week from both the Western Bulldogs and Carlton.

Responding to earlier statements made by Bulldogs president Peter Gordon about Sydney's controversial 9.8 per cent cost of living allowance (COLA), Swans CEO Andrew Ireland expressed dismay when speaking on 3AW radio.

''For Peter Gordon to make those sorts of comments are offensive. He should worry more about running his own club. The fact is he’s effectively saying we’re cheating,'' Ireland said.

Fairfax Media flagged earlier in the week that the AFL would soon announce the scrapping of the COLA ahead of the 2017 season. The issue again came to the fore following dominant showings from high-priced recruits Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin during Sydney's 110-point thumping of Geelong on Thursday night. The win was the Swans' sixth in succession.

''To make those sorts of comments in a week where we’re going to try and help clubs like the Bulldogs, it doesn’t do any great service to the competition,'' Ireland said.

Carlton coach Mick Malthouse had been another to lambast Sydney's allowance during the week, advocating that it be withdrawn now rather than in three years. Ireland didn't miss the Blues either. ''The last time I looked, Carlton hasn’t won too many premierships without breaching the salary cap. They’ve been good tankers and the last time I looked [Chris] Judd’s VISY deal seemed to be hanging around somewhere.''

Gordon later responded on air, saying that he regretted the offence caused, but stuck to his guns. ''I regret that both Sydney and their management feel offended by this,'' Gordon said. ''My view has been consistent for some time, the principles of equalisation are best served by everyone paying to the same salary cap.''

This story Swans hits back at COLA criticism first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.