Andrew Demetriou.

Andrew Demetriou.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has hit out at what he described as ''a knee-jerk reaction'' from clubs pushing for a review of Sydney's contentious cost-of-living and retention allowance.

Demetriou said the extra $1 million a year held by the Swans and Greater Western Sydney in their salary caps was not listed as an agenda item for Monday's meeting of the AFL Commission.

This is despite the fact that the allowance has not been reviewed for the best part of a decade, and despite protests from other clubs, notably West Coast, which has twice put forward submissions claiming it deserved an allowance.

''This is a knee-jerk reaction from clubs because Kurt Tippett wants to play for Sydney, because he admires Sydney,'' said Demetriou. ''No club complaining about this has any real evidence about differentials in housing costs.''

But West Coast boss Trevor Nisbett echoed the thoughts of a number of clubs when he told The Saturday Age: ''It is a knee-jerk reaction initially and it's for the AFL to look at it and decide. But the point is, this is a cost-of-living and retention allowance. It's not a recruiting fund.

''When you win the premiership and recruit an $800,000-a-year player, I think it does need to be reviewed. The cost of living in Perth is extremely high - Perth is one of the most expensive cities in the world and second only to Sydney in rentals, and it's a big issue for us when young players come to live here on a base wage.''

Nisbett admitted he was being ''a bit cheeky'' when his club submitted its bid for extra room in the salary cap, but stressed the document was fully researched in terms of housing prices in capital cities.

Sydney boss Andrew Ireland - whose club has yet to achieve a deal with Adelaide for Tippett - strongly defended the club's extra total player payments of close to 10 per cent above other clubs, insisting that it was spread across all players.

Nisbett said: ''We're not privy to Sydney's contracts and if Andrew says that, I believe him. If it has to happen to help the game to be successful in Sydney, then anyone involved in the game for a long time knows how important that is.

''The point is, however, that the premiership team has enough money in its cap for the highest-priced recruit of the year. If that has to happen, it has to happen. The AFL has to make that decision.''

Sydney's chief recruiter, Kinnear Beatson, commented this week: ''Go and live in Sydney. Go and see how expensive it is. Go and rent, or go and buy there.''