The AFL has ruled that no rules were broken in Adelaide’s capture of former Carlton forward Eddie Betts.
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An inquiry into Betts’ move began this week after sacked Carlton coach Mick Malthouse claimed that the small forward had an agreement with the Crows 18 months before his departure from Princes Park.
The AFL released a statement on Thursday saying it had interviewed 14 different people in relation to the case and said it had cleared both the Adelaide Crows and Betts of any wrongdoing.
“In the 2013 AFL season, player Eddie Betts was classified as a Restricted Free Agent, meaning the Carlton FC had matching-bid rights on his services for 2014,” AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said.
“Player Betts, through his management, explored a number of options at other clubs for potential consideration to his playing career, as is allowed under the rules, but came to no binding agreement before the 2013 Free Agency Period.
“Player Betts and the Adelaide Crows FC lodged a Free Agency bid under the rules and the Carlton FC then formally notified the AFL it would not match that offer.”
Betts has played 30 games and kicked 80 goals since joining the club for the 2014 season.
The Blues parted ways with Malthouse following the veteran’s explosive radio interview on Tuesday morning in which he aimed barbs at the Carlton board and chief executive Steven Trigg.
Malthouse released a statement via the AFL, saying he would not actively seek another senior coaching role.
It brings a decorated career to a close, with Malthouse having coached an AFL record 718 games across four clubs, winning three premierships with West Coast (1992, 1994) and Collingwood (2010).