Collingwood CEO Mark Anderson has explained why the club felt the need to trade out several key players for seemingly very little return.
Collingwood fans and members have been left fuming after the club has sent out mixed messages in an attempt to explain the club's trade strategy.
It has been widely reported that the departures of Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson, Tom Phillips and Atu Bosenavulagi were due to salary cap pressure the Magpies are currently facing.
List manager Ned Guy spoke after the trade deadline about the clubs exchange period and claimed that it was due to the club wanting to get into the draft, believing that their list would be better off post the draft.
However, many fans and experts didn't accept this line as many see this draft as quite compromised, as many players in the draft haven't been able to play this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the plethora of Next Generation Academy and Father-son selections.
Now Anderson has had his say, admitting that salary cap pressure was a key reason for the strategy.
“With the strategy it was around freeing up cap space and also getting draft picks in,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“We recognised that we did have some gaps in our team that we needed to fix and that we fundamentally didn’t have a means of fixing that.
“We needed to get to the pointy end of the draft so getting two picks in the top round this year is really important to us and the last time we had two picks was back in 2014 where we drafted Darcy Moore and Jordan De Goey.
“That’s the sort of talent we’re trying to attract this season and the other part of that is to free up cap space to be in the free agency market – we’ve had a number of players that have been interested in joining us and could’ve filled a gap and identified a need for us.
“But in reality, we haven’t been able to go after those players.
“Certainly we needed to do some work in the salary cap but it was about actually getting picks in the pointy end of the draft and you need to give up good players to get those top round picks.
“We just felt that we needed to make some hard decisions now to get better for our future. If we’re going to be a genuine premiership threat, we needed to pick up some good young talent to fill the needs that we’ve identified.”
Anderson was quizzed about what Collingwood would've done differently during the trade period if they had their time again.
“What we’d do is communicate our strategy more clearly to our members earlier,” he said.
“We didn’t get involved in the conversations about individual players and the scenarios during trade week. I still think that’s the appropriate thing to do, you don’t want those discussions playing out in public.
“It wasn’t a clear strategy communicated that members could understand.”
Collingwood hold picks 14, 16, 65, 70, 75 and 92 in this year's draft.