News: AFL rebuts Fox claim

 
Old Feb 18, 02, 8:28 am
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News: AFL rebuts Fox claim

AFL rebuts Fox claim
By MELISSA RYAN
Tuesday 19 February 2002

The AFL last night hit back at claims by businessman Lindsay Fox that the league had reneged on a deal to do business with the relaunched Ansett.

Mr Fox, whose Tesna consortium is preparing to take over the failed airline, is reported to have sent an acrimonious letter to the AFL and the 16 club presidents accusing the league of a lack of loyalty.

Channel Seven reported that Mr Fox was furious with the AFL for allegedly backing out of a handshake deal worth $750,000, which Fox said he had struck with AFL commercial operations manager Ben Buckley.

Mr Buckley said last night that the discussions with Mr Fox remained in commercial confidence.

Earlier this month, the AFL named Qantas as its official airline carrier, replacing Ansett.

Last night, AFL chief executive Wayne Jackson said the negotiations between the league and Ansett had been conducted appropriately, and stood by the Qantas deal as the "best possible arrangement" for the league and its clubs.

"In negotiating an airline agreement for the AFL, our first obligation was to deliver the best possible arrangement for our AFL clubs and the management of the national competition," Mr Jackson said.

"Our pre-season competition started last weekend and our clubs are already flying to various parts of Australia with Qantas, our official carrier. As we understand it, the Tesna group has not started flying."
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