Why did the AFLPA’s top brass leave the AFL’s biggest club?
Posted November 14, 2018 09:02:46The AFL is expected to announce the top 20 clubs in terms of overall revenue this season on Monday night, but the AFL Players Association says the league should be considering the impact of a change in the salary cap on the balance sheets of its top clubs.
The AFL Players’ Association (AAPA) has urged the AFL to “look at” the impact on clubs of a cap change, saying the move could potentially cost the league $50 million to $75 million a season.
The association’s CEO Greg Bartlett has told ABC Radio Adelaide’s “Fixtures” program the change would not only affect the AFL, but also the game itself.
“There’s a lot of issues that arise in terms on the revenue side and a lot is going to be affected, whether it’s the bottom line, the bottom lines of the clubs, and the bottom of the ladder,” Mr Bartlett said.
“It’s a whole range of issues.”
The fact that the league is looking at it, the fact that it’s been talking about it, is going around, it’s in the media, it can’t have come out of nowhere.
“I don’t think we can dismiss that the cap changes have caused an issue in terms for the top of the league, but at the same time it’s something that’s going to impact on the players, and certainly the game as a whole.”
He said a salary cap change could also be detrimental to the competition, with the AFL facing “huge challenges” with the salary caps of its elite clubs, including Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney.
The decision of the AFL executive to pull the trigger on the cap change comes after the AFL and the CBA struck a deal that sees the AFL provide clubs with a maximum salary cap of $1.3 million, with a cap of just over $50,000 for players under 18.
The salary cap has already been reduced from $2.4 million to just over the $1 million limit for players.
The CBA has also been under pressure to provide clubs a fair playing field, with its players bargaining for the first time with the game’s top clubs over wages.
“When it comes to wages, we don’t like to see wages go up at all,” CBA executive Greg Sheridan said last week.
“But I think if the clubs are going to take on a fair wage structure, we’d be willing to be in a position where they can get that through.”
Mr Sheridan said the AFL had agreed to work with the CAB to ensure “that’s not the case”.
He said he hoped the CAA could work with clubs to ensure the new salary cap structure was fair and not disadvantage the players.
“We’ve always been very clear that we want the players to be able to play at the highest level in our competition,” Mr Sheridan said.
He said there were no plans for a salary cut for the CFA, but said “we would certainly like to work through the details of that”.
“We would also like to ensure that we’re taking the best approach we can,” he said.