Scully's pay at GWS to make AFL history - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Scully's pay at GWS to make AFL history

By Sam Lienert and Rob Forsaith 12/09/2011 05:42:58 PM Comments (0)

Greater Western Sydney recruit Tom Scully will become the highest-paid player in AFL history next season.

His jilted club Melbourne refused to directly criticise the 20-year-old for taking the reported $6 million, six-year deal on offer from the Giants, or the AFL for creating the system which allowed it.

They instead ramped up the pressure on the 31-gamer, by revealing the magnitude of his 2012 salary would be unprecedented, given the front-loaded nature of the contract.

"We're talking about a player who was taken as a priority draft selection, who's obviously being paid an extraordinary amount of money," Demons chief executive Cameron Schwab said.

"Probably I'd say 30 or 40 per cent more than any other player's ever been paid, in 2012."

Asked if that took into account the huge deal offered by Gold Coast a year ago to lure Brownlow medallist and dual premiership star, Gary Ablett, from Geelong, Schwab said it did.

"In a one-year scenario, yes."

Schwab also said while every club agreed to the Giants' recruiting concessions, they never envisaged them being used to snatch other clubs' gun youngsters.

"The system's been used in a way that it wasn't intended to be used," he said.

"The system was put in place to allow the club to fill out its list with senior bodies, big strong bodies, because they were going to have a group of kids basically playing for them.

"Effectively what they've done is sign with their first three selections, three kids."

He said Scully's announcement was like having a "black cloud" removed from the club, after a year of speculation.

"The black cloud now moves on to another club, (the Giants) have still got priority selections to play out over time."

Demons vice president Don McLardy said Melbourne made just one five-year offer to Scully and refused to budge, not wanting to overpay him at the expense of team-mates.

"I don't think the decision was about anything else than the money," McLardy said.

The Demons will almost certainly receive the top band of compensation - two first-round national draft picks, one in the middle of the round and another immediately after their existing first-round pick in the year they choose to use it.

Scully said he had been weighing up the Giants' offer for several weeks but only reached closure on Monday.

The 2009 No.1 draft pick denied his mind had been made up before the Demons' season ended, and said he had stayed true to his word to wait until then to weigh his options.

"There's no doubt over the last couple of weeks, I was probably leaning towards a move coming up here, I knew there was definitely interest," he said.

"But I wanted to do everything right by Melbourne."

Scully said it was tough making phone calls on Monday to inform Demons officials and players but they had wished him well.

He said the money was one of many factors.

Scully said he was yet to discuss the Giants' captaincy with coach Kevin Sheedy, but had leadership aspirations.

Giants' chief executive Dale Holmes said it was a "necessary evil" that the AFL's expansion caused angst for some clubs and players, but the compensation package was fair and the code as a whole would benefit.

Scully joins Callan Ward (Western Bulldogs), Phil Davis (Adelaide) and Rhys Palmer (Fremantle) as GWS recruits.

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