$450,000 payout bid

DEVASTATED: Former Geelong forward Jason Snell, his football career cut short by injury, will now investigate the possibility of compensation for permanent disability. Photo: GEELONG ADVERTISER  
Thursday, July 4

A DEVASTATED Jason Snell has been buoyed by support he has received in the wake of his forced retirement from league football.

The former Geelong forward is also investigating the possibility of compensation.

Snell could receive up to $450,000 in insurance payouts for permanent disability under the AFL's collective bargaining agreement and AFL Players Association's superannuation fund.

Snell has been inundated by well-wishers since announcing on Monday he would never run again because of a shocking ankle injury.

He has received phone calls from former coach Gary Ayres, past team-mates Leigh Colbert, Garry Hocking and Jason Mooney and words of encouragement from other AFL identities Adam Goodes, Mark Merenda and Chris Connolly.

Snell, 24, was also touched by several letters he received from his Geelong team-mates.

``Guys might find it hard to tell you how they feel so some of them wrote to me and there was some really nice stuff in there,'' he said.

``I won't say who it was or exactly what they wrote but they've offered their support and said anything they can do for me, they're there.''

The club has also been inundated with e-mails, letters and phone calls of support for the 68-game player.

``The forward button on my computer has broken down I've been sending that many e-mails onto him,'' Cats communication manager Warwick Hadfield said yesterday.

Snell has not played since breaking his ankle in an innocuous marking contest against Melbourne in round three last year.

He found out last week that the injury was beyond repair and the ankle joint would need to be pinned with a piece of bone from his hip, meaning he could never play footy or run again.

Snell could seek insurance payouts for permanent disability in the wake of the devastating news.

His management and the club are investigating whether he is eligible for compensation under the AFL's collective bargaining agreement and AFL Players' Association's superannuation fund.

The collective bargaining agreement, struck in 1997, provides allowance for up to $250,000 and the superannuation fund, $200,000, provided the serious injury is classified a ``permanent disability''. There is no provision with the Geelong Football Club's insurer for a claim, CEO Brian Cook said.

While Snell looks set to seek a payment under the superannuation fund, it is unclear how successful he will be with the AFLPA.

It is at loggerheads with its own insurer, AMP, over its dated policy.

Players' association spokesperson Kylie King said yesterday the policy outlined players needed to be employed outside football for up to 20 hours a week to be eligible to seek such compensation.