Carlton faces fresh charges - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton faces fresh charges

By Roger Vaughan and Greg Denham 14/11/2002 08:37:57 PM Comments (0)

Information from new Carlton board member Stephen Silvagni and former captain Craig Bradley is understood to have led to fresh charges against the embattled AFL club.

The league announced it had laid two new player payment charges against the Blues, bringing the total to four and making the club's hold on the first two draft picks even more tenuous.

If any charge concerning Silvagni were proved, he would have to resign from the Carlton board.

The AFL also announced it would postpone the hearing where the beleaguered club will answer the charges from next Tuesday to Friday - just two days before the national draft.

The league said it had laid two more charges after two players had volunteered information about undisclosed payments.

The AFL would not say whether the two players who provided the new information were current or retired Blues.

Bradley retired on October 31 after 375 games - a club record, while Silvagni quit at the end of last season with a tally of 312 AFL appearances.

They are two of Carlton's greatest players, with Silvagni named at full-back in the AFL team of the century.

"During the past few days, two Carlton players have come forward to voluntarily disclose to the AFL's investigations manager, Ken Wood, information relating to undisclosed football payments - that is, payments to the players in addition to the contracts lodged with the AFL," said AFL operations manager Andrew Demetriou.

"As a result of the AFL investigation, including these voluntary disclosures.....Mr Wood has formally charged Carlton today with additional breaches of the total player payments provisions."

The league put back the meeting date to next Friday night so Carlton would have enough time to prepare its defence.

Carlton, which finished bottom this season, currently has the first two picks in the November 24 draft.

The prospect of being found guilty of payment breaches, and losing those picks as punishment, was a major theme on Tuesday night at the club's extraordinary general meeting.

Members overwhelmingly voted for new president Ian Collins, Silvagni and the rest of the Carlton One ticket at the meeting.

One of the new board's first jobs has been to learn details of the AFL charges.

Collins declined to comment on any aspect of the AFL investigations.

The two initial charges, announced last Monday, are understood to concern payments to now-retired players Fraser Brown and Stephen O'Reilly.

Other clubs are also worried about what will happen if Carlton is found guilty and loses the opening two draft picks.

Richmond, in particular, is concerned because it offloaded the No.4 draft selection as part of the trade that sent Wayne Carey to Adelaide and Kane Johnson to the Tigers.

That pick would be much more valuable if it was suddenly pushed up to No.2.

The Tigers had already asked the league for compensation if Carlton loses the top two picks.

The AFL announcement destroyed a rare good-news day for the Blues.

They had announced the re-signing of forward Matthew Lappin on a three-year contract.

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