JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.



Logo, mini-draft on table

Date

Jon Pierik and Caroline Wilson

An in-season mini-draft, a ban on top clubs poaching free agents and the possible sale of the AFL logo on the front of player jumpers were options discussed in a bid to ease the gap between the AFL's rich and poor.

It also emerged in a crucial meeting between club presidents and chief executives and the AFL executive on Wednesday that the league acknowledged it needed an additional $15 million to $18 million to be injected in disequal funding to help struggling clubs.

The AFL had announced last year it would spend $144 million on equal and disequal funding in 2012-16. This included $85 million in disequal (allocated) and disequal (not allocated) funding.

The Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne, Melbourne, St Kilda, Richmond, Port Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney had been the major beneficiaries of disequal funding.

While clubs were delighted at Etihad Stadium by the open approach of their rivals, some reported the disequalisation debate was still a fight between those advocating the exploration of new revenues, predominantly the rich teams, and others who want a redistribution of wealth, including a greater percentage of gate receipts.

Amid concerns that football-department spending was escalating at an uncontrollable 8 per cent a year, Collingwood proposed two ideas to help secure the additional $18 million.

These were to increase the cost of AFL memberships, as opposed to individual club memberships. The added money would be distributed to the poorer clubs.

The Magpies also believe there is merit in allowing clubs to replace the AFL logo on the front of player guernseys with sponsorship. This money would be pooled, and also distributed to poorer clubs.

However, under a proposal by the West Coast Eagles, the Magpies could take a hit. In a bid to help even on-field fortunes, the Eagles have suggested banning teams that finish in the top four from being able to participate in free agency in that same season.

Under this model, the Magpies would not have secured former Eagle Quinten Lynch last season.

Teams that finish in the bottom four would have unlimited access to free agents.

While Magpies president Eddie McGuire declared his ''faith in the game was restored'' through the openness of the meeting, it didn't stop him from reiterating his stance that the Swans' cost-of-living allowance be axed. However, he was told that was not up for discussion at the meeting.

AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick praised McGuire's input.

There was also a discussion about introducing an in-season mini-draft, which could allow teams struggling on the field to top up their list, possibly via the VFL.

''That was one of the things that was floated but nothing was debated to a point where you got a sense that this was what we were going to do or not,'' Cats president Colin Carter said.

There was overwhelming support for all clubs to have the capacity to pay 100 per cent of the salary cap. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the minimum spend is 95 per cent, up from 92.5 per cent.

''I think that would be one of the aspirations that would make a big difference. When teams can't do that, it unbalances the competition,'' Carter said.

McGuire said he ''didn't think'' a cap on football-department spending would be introduced, a suggestion several clubs have long taken umbrage with. There is about a $5 million gap between the spend in this area of the top and bottom clubs.

Clubs agreed that the draft and salary cap were sacrosanct.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said recommendations would be put to club presidents in September.

15 comments

  • What a mess. Why introduce two newly AFL funded clubs if the rest of the league has to suffer? You'll need to change the name from free agent to kinda free agent too.
    If Brisbane make top four why shouldn't they be allowed access to free agents?

    Commenter
    PeeRod
    Date and time
    March 21, 2013, 8:54AM
    • The biggest hurdle for clubs in Melbourne is that there are too many for the number of people living in Melbounre that follow footy. The only way it ever get close to being equal, is when several clubs merge. North Melbourne and Melbourne should merge and become the Melbourne Kangaroos. They will then have at least 30K members and when it is snow season, the old north supporters will still attend the games. Saints can merge. with Richmond and become the ultimate under achieving club. The doggies can merge with Geelong and become the Geelong cats. (who will actually miss the doggies?). That will allow the Bombers, Pies, Blues and Hawks to go about their business as usual.

      Commenter
      go bombers
      Date and time
      March 21, 2013, 9:33AM
      • Flippancy aside, the underlying principle behind 'Bombers' suggestion is sound. The fact is... we have at least 2 more clubs than is viable in Melbourne.
        I'm not going to speculate on who should go and who should merge but it's not going to get any easier for Footscray or North Melbourne in the coming years. Even if they became regular finals contenders and their membership increased by 50% they would still struugle to break even, let alone sustain financial viability.
        Why don't we face facts and stop flogging these dead horses?

        Commenter
        Panther
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        March 21, 2013, 10:11AM
      • @panther Spot on there are too many clubs in victoria. My explanations were a bit flippent and hopefully aren't taken too seriously by most. There is no way North, Bulldogs and Melbourne will continue to exist. They will either need to relocate ( Tasmania would be good for one team) or merge.

        Commenter
        go bombers
        Date and time
        March 21, 2013, 11:06AM
      • @Panther, North Melbourne's membership has increased by 50% over the last 6 years and they have made profits in 5/6 of those years. What is the problem?

        Commenter
        Justin
        Location
        NM
        Date and time
        March 21, 2013, 11:45AM
      • The problem Justin, is that you are now at the peak of your performance and yet barely surviving. One slip-up my friend and you are gone. Trouble is, you cannot (or will not) accept the reality of the situation. Do you want to become another Fitzroy? If I were you I'd start looking at any opportunity to ensure my blue and white stripes survive.... oh hang on, you had that oportunity and knocked it back didn't you.

        Commenter
        Panther
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        March 21, 2013, 12:39PM
      • if the afl wants to squeeze $$ out the broadcast rights then it needs a certain number of teams to do so, just getting rid of teams actually may hurt the whole. Having a sporting presence in growth corridors of the country (such as western Sydney and Melbourne) is also a necessity for a healthy league so if the AFL needs to subsidize that then they should, isnt that part of their custodianship of the AFL brand?.....

        Commenter
        SW
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        March 21, 2013, 2:04PM
      • Panther in five years time how much of North Melbourne would have been up at the Gold Coast?
        Wait let me guess...loads and loads. Like, the guersey and stuff.

        Commenter
        Brad
        Date and time
        March 21, 2013, 2:33PM
      • Richmond have 49,000 Members already, and will come close to 60,000 this season. Crowds like 45,000 at home to Fremantle last season makes your suggesting of a merger look quite pitiful

        Commenter
        Mick
        Location
        Mornington
        Date and time
        March 21, 2013, 3:12PM
    • If free agency is really going to work, clubs need to be able to trade players for cash. Right now players can hold clubs to ransom and then leave a club if their demands are not met with the club receiving very little in return. At least this way the poorer clubs can reap some financial reward in the case they lose one of their better players.

      Commenter
      Brad
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2013, 9:54AM

      More comments

      Comments are now closed

      HuffPost Australia

      AFL 2016

      Round 1
      Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
      RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
      Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
      MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
      GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
      NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
      SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
      Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
      WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
      PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
      WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
      Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
      GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
      COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
      Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
      ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
      BRI vs NTH 16:35G
      STK vs WBU 19:25ES
      FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
      GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
      HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
      CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
      PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
      Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK vs COL 13:45MCG
      RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
      SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
      GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
      WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
      WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
      GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
      WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
      Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
      ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
      HAW vs STK 14:10AS
      BRI vs GCF 16:35G
      CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
      ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
      Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
      COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
      NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
      Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
      GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
      WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
      PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
      Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK vs GWS 13:10ES
      FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
      MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
      Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
      NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
      Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
      MEL vs STK 13:45ES
      ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
      GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
      RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
      GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
      Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs SYD 13:10G
      CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
      WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
      Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
      COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
      GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
      SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
      GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
      WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
      FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
      Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK vs NTH 15:20ES
      PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
      Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
      HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
      GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
      BRI vs COL 19:25G
      RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
      Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
      MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
      WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
      Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
      COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
      GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
      PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
      NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
      FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
      GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
      STK vs ESS 16:40ES
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
      Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs HAW 13:45G
      MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
      STK vs FRE 16:35ES
      ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
      ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
      Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
      COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
      WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
      NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
      Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
      CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
      GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
      GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
      FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
      WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
      ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
      ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
      Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
      BRI vs FRE 16:35G
      GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
      WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      STK vs CAR 13:10ES
      RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
      GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
      Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
      NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
      Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs WCE 13:40G
      FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
      WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
      Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
      ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
      Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
      COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
      Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
      GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
      STK vs GEE 19:25ES
      Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
      WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
      Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
      Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      GCF vs STK 13:40MS
      SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
      CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
      Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
      Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
      GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
      Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
      GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
      WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
      MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
      Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
      WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
      ESS vs STK 16:40ES
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
      Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
      FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
      Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
      NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
      WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
      ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
      Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
      STK vs MEL 15:20ES
      BRI vs GWS 16:40G
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL vs NTH 19:50ES
      Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
      GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
      WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
      WBU vs STK 19:25ES
      GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
      Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
      HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
      PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
      View All Fixtures
      Round 19
      Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
      GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
      Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
      HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
      COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
      BRI vs PTA 19:25G
      NTH vs STK 19:25ES
      Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
      FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
      ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
      Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
      MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
      GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
      WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
      ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
      Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
      CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
      GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
      FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
      WBU vs COL 19:50ES
      Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs CAR 13:45G
      HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
      GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
      STK vs SYD 19:25ES
      PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
      Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
      ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
      RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
      FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
      WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
      Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
      RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
      GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
      COL vs GCF 19:25ES
      PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
      Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
      CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
      BRI vs GEE 15:20G
      ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
      HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
      STK vs BRI 12:00ES
      ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
      GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
      SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
      NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
      GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
      ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
      FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      AFL 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
      Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
      Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
      Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
      Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
      Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
      Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
      Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
      View all
       

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers