CROWS board member and club legend Mark Ricciuto has denied coaxing fellow commentators Wayne Carey and David King to publicly downplay out-of-contract forward Josh Jenkins’ value.
Both commentators had said on air that Jenkins was not worth $750,000 a season.
Ricciuto hit back at a report on television show Footy Classified and affirmed his admiration for Jenkins, who is in contract negotiations with Adelaide.
On Triple M’s Roo and Dits radio show this morning, Ricciuto addressed a report by journalist Craig Hutchison questioning whether he had used his links to Carey and King to have them talk down Jenkins’ value.
Hutchison stopped short of making the accusation personally, attributing the questions to “the Jenkins camp”.
“Mark Ricciuto’s role is getting interesting in this,” Hutchison said on Monday night.
“Mark is the influential powerbroker at the Adelaide Football Club — he sits on the board and chairs the list management committee.
“He’s also a commentator on Fox Footy.
“The Jenkins camp, we understand, are a little bit curious about some of these remarks (by King and Carey).
“David King obviously is a Fox commentator alongside Ricciuto, Wayne Carey one of his closest mates.”
“There is a question mark as to whether Mark Ricciuto has had any influence on some of the knowledge that’s being potrayed.”
Hutchison went on to say that if Ricciuto had been using his links to the two as part of a negotiation strategy, it would have been a “legitimate tactic”.
King described the theory as “laughable”.
“I spoke to Hutchy today, I find the whole thing weird,” King said on SEN radio.
“There isn’t a person in teh world that thinks Josh is worth $750,000.”
King said he works with Ricciuto every two weeks to cover Crows or Power games.
“Hutchy rang today and said, ‘Have you talked to him about Jenkins?’ and I said, ‘Of course I have, he’s a talking point’.
“The offer’s already been given, what I say and what Wayne Carey says in the media is pointless.
“Let’s be honest, Classified’s dropped off a bit since Gaz (Garry Lyon) moved on.”
Kingy goes bang. Offensive to think he doesn’t do his own research and form his own opinions. https://t.co/d3vmJMrxCr
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) June 21, 2016
Earlier, Ricciuto denied using his fellow commentators as mouthpieces.
“Anyone who knows Wayne Carey … and a lot of people do – go and speak to anyone at North Melbourne – and they will tell you that Wayne Carey says what Wayne Carey wants to say.
“He doesn’t get told what to say. He’s a strong man, he has his own opinions – like he had opinions of Sam Mitchell that he wouldn’t get a game in other sides and other players that he talks about, so I think if you know Duck you would know that … people don’t put words in Duck’s mouth.
“And David King talks about a lot of players in his role at Fox Footy, he is the analyser. He backs up all his comments with stats and that’s what he was doing there.
“Of couse I want him (Jenkins) to stay.
“I’ll make this very, very clear – Josh Jenkins is doing a fantastic job at Adelaide.
“He’s improved rapidly ever since he came to the club – not just in the last 12 months, but over the last few years …
“I love what he’s doing at the Adelaide Football Club and I would love him to stay. I reckon he’s doing an awesome job.”