<span style="font-size:18px;">'Very offensive': Ireland furious with Bulldogs' COLA comments</span>
SYDNEY Swans chief executive Andrew Ireland has leapt to his club's defence after Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon accused the Swans of exploiting the cost-of living allowance.
Speaking on 3AW on Saturday, Ireland labelled Gordon's comments as "very offensive".
Gordon claimed on Friday that the Swans had "tested" the AFL's rules and "exploited" the COLA, insinuating the extra 9.8 per cent extra allowance in their salary cap was used to lure star forwards Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin.
His comments came after the Swans â€“ led by a combined nine goals from Tippett and Franklin â€“ crushed Geelong by 110 points at the SCG on Thursday night.
â€œI think we all recognise the cost-of-living allowance was completely unfair and with respect to (former Swans president) Richard Colless it is almost farcical to see the way Sydney has used it over the last little while,‘‘ Gordon said.
â€œYou only need to look at last night (Friday‘s) game to see how well Sydney has exploited the cost-of-living allowance."
Ireland fired back by saying every Swans player had COLA payments in their contract.
"We deny it (Gordon's allegations). We think Peter's comments are very offensive," he said.
"The fact is he's effectively saying we're cheating and the reality is when we did the 'Buddy' deal the AFL came and sent an investigating team to look at it and passed it fully.
"If you spoke to the AFL, every player on our list gets COLA. It's in their contract as required. There's no pool to be able to recruit players."
Ireland called on the AFL's football operations manager Mark Evans to confirm the Swans were using COLA as it was intended.
"I think it would be good if someone from the AFL, maybe Mark Evans or someone who has got visibility of the contracts confirmed exactly that," he said.
"We've asked the AFL to do it and we're still waiting."
Ireland said Franklin and Tippett would only receive about $40,000 combined from COLA this year.
He added that the Swans were only spending "just over a million dollars" combined on the glamour forwards this year.
Ireland said Gordon should "worry more about his own club than worry about what we're doing" and revealed that the Swans wrote to the AFL because they were concerned that not all clubs were getting a "fair go at it".
The Swans CEO also had outgoing Carlton chief Greg Swann firmly in his crosshairs.
The Blues boss told SEN radio the best way to stop the dominant Swans was to â€œgive us all an (extra) million bucks and we might be a chance".
Ireland fired a shot at Carlton's own salary cap issues in the past.
"Last time I looked Carlton haven't won too many premierships without breaching the salary cap," he said.
"They've been good tankers and the last time I looked (Chris) Judd's VISY deal seemed to be hanging around somewhere."
COLA is reportedly set to be scaled back to a rent assistance package by 2017 that will provide $15,000 to lower-paid players.
How much of this is true? A few pot shots there. No way Sydney are legally managing all those players on that list COLA or not. If they are we could have done with their budgeting skills in 2000.
But is that what the modern game has come to? Money equals success?