Sydney could launch legal action if the AFL refuses to overturn the club’s controversial trade ban.

The club has started exploring its legal options, including a possible court fight, as the Swans prepare to lodge a formal submission with the AFL in the coming weeks asking to take part in this year’s trade period.

The Swans have been banned from recruiting players at season’s end if they offer a player more money than the average wage, which is around $340,000.

Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham claims that the ban is payback for the club’s signing of star forwards lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett.

“We believe that the trade ban and restrictions is unconstitutional and a serious restraint of trade impacting players and clubs,” Pridham said.

“The AFL’s ongoing assertion is that the Swans were always aware that a trade ban was to be a component of the phasing out of COLA, and that the trade ban is necessary as COLA (cost of living allowance) money should not be used to attract new players.

“The explanation for the trade ban was that the commission, and I quote: ‘did not want to be embarrassed by the Swans, with another high profile player signing following the signing in consecutive years of Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin’.”

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