The Bears take on the Swans in 1995. Photo: Steve ChristoFollow the Age Sport on Twitter
It’s more than 25 years since the then privately owned Brisbane Bears and Sydney Swans were mired in financial difficulties, and players were forced to take pay cuts, and even had contracts revoked in order for the clubs to remain afloat.
Many players from that time are still owed money, prompting veteran player agent Peter Jess to continue to fight for what he thinks the players are still owed.
“This is why I pushed to have the AFL pay the players’ payments because they were a contractual waste of time,” Jess said. “I pushed for the AFL to be a party of the wages so that they underpinned the payments. They were coerced to go [to join the expansion clubs] and they were offered these incentives but these incentives turned into straw. They had to take pay cuts post-collapse and then there was the abandonment of the contracts when the AFL had to step in.”
The sad plight of former Bear John Fidge was documented by The Age in 2011, while Jess claims the likes of Fidge’s teammates Adelaide coach Phil Walsh, Richmond assistant and former Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams, Mike Richardson, Jim Edmond, along with former Swans, are entitled to what they are owed. Former Adelaide coach Graham Cornes has also worked to help Fidge and has even approached the AFL in his quest for the former classy forward to be paid. Jess estimates Fidge was owed $300,000 at the time.
The AFL and AFL Players Association are aware of the case, but it appears little can be done. Asked if he could launch legal action, Jess replied: “It’s all out of time, that’s the problem.”
One player believed to be gaining the attention of a number of Victorian clubs is out-of-contract Fremantle big-man Zac Clarke. The former basketballer grew up in Melbourne, and despite being a regular in the successful Fremantle line-up he is understood to be keen to ensure he plays more time as a ruckman rather than a forward. With Aaron Sandilands in the twilight of his career and Jonathon Griffin mainly on the Fremantle list as a back-up, Clarke is still likely to sign with Freo, but there are a handful of Melbourne-based sides looking for a ruckman and perhaps considering making a major play for Clarke’s services. Clarke is due to become a free agent at the end of next year.
There’s growing speculation that sharpshooter Chris Goulding could return to Melbourne in time for the 2015-16 NBL season. Goulding had led the league in scoring in his final season with then Melbourne Tigers before heading to Spain to suit up for Zaragoza. However, after only one season there, and having been given limited minutes, he is interested in rejoining the club now known as Melbourne United. Under new coach Dean Demopoulos, United is revamping its roster, and even let go the man considered the heart and soul of the side, Mark Worthington. The robust small forward had indicated he would return to Europe, but now appears close to inking a deal with the Cairns Taipans. United is also pursuing last season’s most valuable player, Townsville’s Brian Conklin.
Back in town Now that the NBA Finals have ended, Andrew Bogut, lapping up the joy of being on the champion Golden State Warriors, and Matthew Dellavedova, having attracted plenty of headlines for his deeds with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the six-game series, can have some rest. Well, sort of. The two Australians will be back in their home town soon for an Australian Boomers’ camp, with one of their commitments being a breakfast run by One Management Group at Crown on August 21 after the Olympic qualifying series against New Zealand. “Australia has a lot of NBA talent now and when you’re talking about an Olympic medal – to get an NBA ring is a great honour and to get any sort of Olympic medal for Australia would be another honour. I’m hugely motivated to play for the national team,” Bogut said.
Nothing went right last Sunday for Melbourne coach Paul Roos as his side relinquished a late goal to lose St Kilda. Even when he went to his post-match press conference there were issues. Walking into the room at Etihad Stadium, Roos tried to to toss his chewing gum into the bin. But much like players from both the Demons and Saints in the final quarter, Roos missed. He dryly remarked: “That’s how well we’re going.”
A documentary is being made about world-famous Australian dancer and circus strongman of the 1930s and 40s Paul “The Mighty Apollo” Anderson. Anderson introduced body building, gymnasium culture and martial arts to Australia, with his feats of strength including pulling a loaded tram up Bourke Street with his teeth, and surviving an elephant standing on his chest. There are plenty of photos of these astonishing acts, but precious little film. Nick Barkla is making the film and looking for archival footage.
It was a rough week for Greater Western Sydney after they lost their two key defenders and only ruckman of note during the same game last Sunday. The news that Shane Mumford would be missing for the rest of the season coincided with talk about Essendon not playing former Giants ruck Jonathan Giles. Cult Facebook page AFL Related Simpsons Quotes made light of this fact in a post on Tuesday. The page is known to be a favourite of a number of AFL players, and one who happened to particularly enjoy it was fringe Sydney ruckman Sam Naismith, who “tagged” teammate Dane Rampe in the post.
It’s rare that you see unruly behaviour in the MCC members area at the MCG, but something caught our eye at State of Origin on Wednesday night. So angry was a Maroons fan at the disallowed Greg Inglis try that he threw a full Coke bottle from the top tier. It landed short of the playing arena, but nevertheless the perpetrator was evicted within minutes.
4 minutes to midnight for… Delly Mania
With Kyrie Irving to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers starting five next season, don’t expect gritty Aussie Matthew Dellavedova to get quite as much court time.
Only a day after his namesake led Queensland to State of Origin defeat, young Australian golfer Cameron Smith shone on his debut at the majors, outshining many of his compatriots by comfortably making the cut. The Queenslander is one to watch.
4 more years for Alex Rance at Richmond.
70,000 approximately how many Tigers members had a big burden removed from their minds on Saturday morning.
45 Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic thundered down a record-breaking 45 aces in his clash against Tomas Berdych in Halle, breaking Mark Philippoussis’ mark of 44 aces in Kuala Lumpur in 1995.
Got a tip? Contact Daniel Cherny or Jon Pierik. Twitter: @danielcherny or @pierik_agesport The Age SportThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.