Millions of dollars were laid out; an estimated six million dollars over four seasons for an NRL wingman, who although was great at catching a ball in the corner, he was yet to prove he could even kick a ball.
Out of respect I will not mention the player's name, as this article is not about him. It's about the AFL and the choices they have made over the past 18 months in launching the code into Rugby League heartland.
The first critical mistake was the way they paraded a player around as their key signing, when he was still contracted by Rugby League and the Brisbane Broncos. Now it's hard to blame the player for this, as he was young and probably fairly impressionable. When you have management around you advising you at a young age, you don't tend to question the advice you're getting.
The second critical mistake was the signal to current AFL players and clubs that their product is not good enough on its own to take to a new market. Imagine how it feels for a young up and coming player trying to get a rookie base wage contract for the GWS, then you see that the AFL is paying six million for a bloke who has never played a single game of your sport, it's got to be tough.
The third critical mistake is the bitter feeling that is generated amongst the senior AFL players. Years of contributing to a sport they believe in, their hard work also adds great financial value to the product of AFL. It has to really hurt to see what you have spent years with blood sweat and tears to create, to see the spoils go to a player who has never even played the sport, must cut deep.
The most comical aspect of this failed venture is the way in which Rugby League has been showcased to the AFL heartland across Victoria. The buzz about league players has had a number of fans running their eye over rugby league for the first time. Who knows the Melbourne Storm might have collected a few new members.