Carlton Blues on the brink - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton Blues on the brink

By Chris Lines 23/11/2002 06:37:06 AM Comments (0)

Carlton says it is on the brink of going out of business and will have difficulty fielding a team in the AFL competition next year after being fined $930,000 and being hit with heavy draft penalties.

Carlton received the fine, will lose both its number one and two picks in Sunday's national draft, plus its second and third round picks (numbers 31 and 34 overall).

It will also be excluded from the first round of December's pre-season draft, and will be banned from taking part in the first two rounds of the 2003 national draft.

Club president Ian Collins said the club would consider its legal options to challenge the AFL ruling, but was non-committal whether there was grounds to do so later to prevent Sunday's draft from proceeding.

"A fine of this magnitude in the AFL competition, which is very fragile ... would put any club on the brink," an angered Collins said.

The AFL said there was no doubt Carlton was guilty of paying players under the table and thus breaching the salary cap in 2000 and 2001.

Part of the punishment included the imposition of penalties from a suspended sentence incurred in 2000.

The punishment was for three of the four cases, although the AFL refused to reveal exactly which ones.

One case was still being investigated.

Carlton and the AFL's talks on punishment for the club's salary cap infringements had dragged on into the early hours.

The Blues, led by Collins and chief executive Don Hanly, desperately argued the club's case with league chief executive Wayne Jackson, after the talks began at six o'clock on Friday.

Carlton faced charges of rorting the salary cap, involving payments to four former players - Craig Bradley, Steven Silvagni, Stephen O'Reilly and Fraser Brown.

Carlton was arguing only four former directors - John Elliott, Wes Lofts, Barry Stones and Kevin Hall - knew of the alleged under-the-table payments and as they had all resigned during the battle for board control over the past two months, the new administration should be given a fresh slate.

Carlton was already under a suspended sentence for breaching the cap in 2000.

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