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AFL Statement: Crows cleared

Eddie Betts of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL Round 05 match between the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide on May 03, 2015. (Photo: James Elsby/AFL Media)
Eddie Betts of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL Round 05 match between the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide on May 03, 2015. (Photo: James Elsby/AFL Media)

The AFL has cleared the Adelaide Football Club of any wrongdoing in its acquisition of Eddie Betts.

The League has released the statement below:

The AFL wishes to advise it has completed an examination of the circumstances of the recruitment of player Eddie Betts to the Adelaide Crows Football Club, after comments made by former Carlton coach Michael Malthouse earlier this week.

Under the AFL Rules, Clubs cannot reach a binding agreement with a free agent from another Club prior to the commencement of the relevant free agency period.

AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said the AFL had interviewed 14 people, including officials from four AFL clubs and two registered player agents. Documentation from a number of parties was also examined. The AFL is satisfied no breach of the rules occurred.

'In the 2013 AFL season, player Eddie Betts was classified as a Restricted Free Agent, meaning the Carlton FC had matching-bid rights on his services for 2014," Mr Dillon said.

'Player Betts, through his management, explored a number of options at other clubs for potential consideration to his playing career, as is allowed under the rules, but came to no binding agreement before the 2013 Free Agency Period.

'Player Betts and the Adelaide Crows FC lodged a Free Agency bid under the rules and the Carlton FC then formally notified the AFL it would not match that offer.

'The AFL is satisfied the AFL Rules were adhered to.'

On Wednesday, Adelaide CEO Andrew Fagan expressed his disappointment at his Club being dragged into the situation at Carlton.

“I was quite frustrated and a little bit annoyed to be dragged into a drama that was engulfing another AFL club, and dragged into it inappropriately I think for something that really shouldn’t have been a concern for us,” Fagan said on Wednesday.

“This is a non-issue that has been made into an issue because of unrelated events.”