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Conspiracy theory explains filthy Adelaide Crows best and fairest snub
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AN AFL Brownlow medallist has suggested there is a rancorous explanation for Adelaide’s trade mess hitting a bitter new low.

ADELAIDE told Jake Lever he wasn’t welcome to attend the club’s best and fairest — now the situation has got even uglier.

The Crows are still seething from Lever’s decision to request a trade to the Demons after their grand final defeat, culminating in his no-show at the club’s official awards night at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday.

The Crows are reportedly digging in and playing hardball in their trade negotiations with the Demons. The Demons in return have reportedly been filthy about the Crows’ refusal to entertain their reported offer of a first and a second round draft pick in exchange for the star defender.

It seemed unlikely the situation could deteriorate any further.

It has.

Lever was sensationally left out of the top 10 players in the Crows’ best and fairest — likely costing him a handy payday on the way out.

Lever did not feature among the club’s top players as midfield gun Matt Crouch took out the Malcolm Blight Medal as the Crows’ club champion of 2017.

Lever’s failure to crack into the top 10, comes after Crows’ football chief Brett Burton declared on radio that the 21-year-old was demanding a contract that would make him the highest paid player at the Crows.

According to reports, Lever has agreed to a four-year deal with the Demons worth between $750,000 per season and $850,000 per season.

Real messy.

Lever emerged as one of the best defenders in the game in 2017 and one of the most important players to the Crows’ set-up.

His failure to crack the top 10 in the best and fairest has certainly raised eyebrows.

His no-show in the Malcolm Blight medal vote count is particularly significant if Lever’s contract with the Crows includes a standard performance bonus clauses.

It is standard practice in the AFL for clubs to incentivise player contracts by inserting performance clauses tied to the best-and-fairest and other awards.

A finish in the top 10 normally guarantees a bonus payment.

Under this system, Lever has been dudded.

The out of favour star’s plight was highlighted by Brownlow medal champion Adam Cooney, who suggested Lever’s failure to crack the top 10 may not have been a coincidence.

 

Lever also didn’t get a look in for any of the 11 major awards handed out at the Crows’ best and fairest.

Crouch’s win saw him become the second-youngest recipient of Adelaide’s best-and-fairest award.

The 22-year-old (315) was the only player to poll more than 300 votes. Crouch drew level with superstar Rory Sloane in round 11 and streaked clear in the second half the season to finish 62 votes ahead.

Andrew McLeod, who won the award at 21 in 1997, the first of Adelaide’s two premiership seasons, donned the gold jacket at a younger age.

Jake Lever reportedly almost got stood down for the grand final.Source:AAP

Eddie Betts, who finished 10th in the medal standings, won the leading goalkicker gong while Brad Crouch took the Players’ Trademark Award.

It comes after the club sensationally uninvited Lever to the black tie event earlier this week.

Lever apparently wanted to attend, but was told it would not be a good idea.

Lever confirmed on Tuesday he wanted a trade to Melbourne, after plenty of speculation about his future.

The Crows are fuming, with unconfirmed reports that some teammates had wanted him dropped for the finals.

After Lever confirmed his wish for a trade, Adelaide list manager Brett Burton claimed money was a big factor.

The Victorian native said he sought the move to be closer to friends and family.

Star forward Charlie Cameron has also requested a trade to the Brisbane Lions, but the club are reportedly set to knock him back and hold him to his contract through to the end of the 2018 season.

Cameron did attend the best and fairest, but was also nowhere to see on the best and fairest leaderboard.

Cameron’s manager Colin Young said on Friday the livewire forward wanted a trade to Brisbane for personal reasons.

“There are compassionate reasons why Charlie has asked to go back to Brisbane,” Young told AFL Trade Radio.

“It’s where he grew up and it’s where his family and friends are.

“He feels that there’s more to life than playing football.”

ADELAIDE’S BEST AND FAIREST TOP 10

Matt Crouch – 315

Rory Sloane – 253

Rory Laird – 226

Sam Jacobs – 224

Richard Douglas – 219

Taylor Walker – 211

Tom Lynch – 203

Brad Crouch – 194

Brodie Smith – 194

Eddie Betts – 187

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