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Mick Malthouse demands Sydney help end now

Well-heeled Swans Lance Franklin, Adam Goodes and Kurt Tippett.

Well-heeled Swans Lance Franklin, Adam Goodes and Kurt Tippett. Photo: Getty Images

Carlton coach Mick Malthouse says he can’t see the point in the AFL waiting until 2017 to remove Sydney’s controversial cost-of-living allowance.

Fairfax Media reported this week that the allowance would be removed by the start of the 2017 season, but that the AFL would continue to compensate the Swans with a new rent subsidy, which the league will pay directly to footballers earning less than the average player wage.

The report also stated that Greater Western Sydney appears to have been successful in its push to retain an additional $1 million in its salary cap – because of the unique challenges faced by the Giants as they battle to establish themselves – and that GWS players will also receive the rental subsidy from the start of 2017 under new equalisation measures to be outlined in June.

Malthouse is a long-term critic of the allowance, believing it has created a "two-tiered" system within the league, and spoke at length about the issue on Wednesday, calling for the AFL to scrap the assistance immediately.

"2017? What's wrong with 2016 or 2015?" Malthouse asked reporters.

"The quicker we straighten it out ... so there's no spikes in someone else's salary cap for particular reasons or because you live here or whatever you do, the better,” he said.

Malthouse said he held significant fears for Melbourne's smaller clubs.

"I take my Carlton hat off and put on a football person's hat ... what do they get? How do they get advantages? They don't," he said.

"If anything, they're disadvantaged all the way through. They pay more for their grounds and a whole host of things. And it's not even the clubs you worry about so much, it's the supporter groups."

46 comments so far

  • Yay ! At last i get to agree with something Mick says. The COLA is a rort . It's a rort like business people using their company cars for private purposes and claiming tax deductions for it. You want to live in Sydney , you pay to live in Sydney. If a club can offer more $$$ out of its salary cap - good , that's fair . But the salary cap should be the same for all clubs. Eddie Betts went to Adelaide because they made him a good offer ; it wasn't because it's cheaper to live there than Melbourne . Same goes for Xavier Ellis from Hawks to Weagles. Scrap the COLA ! No need now the Swans are succcessful . Help for Dogs, Saints , North if anyone.gets help. (Old long time Hawk supporter in case you ask.)

    Commenter
    Daniel
    Location
    rural NSW
    Date and time
    May 21, 2014, 12:55PM
    • No help for the struggling Melbourne clubs....are they growing the game? No, of course not. No one outside Melbourne will care if they win another premiership, but non Victorian clubs winning will introduce new people to the game. And it is facing a challenge, particularly from soccer. It's easy in Melbourne not face that reality, but here at the coal face, we know.

      Mick should pipe down and concentrate on helping the Blues avoid the wooden spoon.

      Commenter
      Hannebery's Tongue
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 21, 2014, 11:42PM
  • Sydney are the pets of the AFL. Untill the current allowance is removed they have 1 million advantages over the rest of the comp except GWS. Thats a Joke too. I can't wait for the Tippet/Franklin fallout and I hope other clubs go all out to attract Sydneys better players away from the club and watch them battle like the majority of the competition. Football is a dying game, and thats a shame. Lost the passion like many others.

    Commenter
    Couldnt agree more Mick
    Location
    Rowville
    Date and time
    May 21, 2014, 1:05PM
    • I agree...passion is dwindling (despite being a hawthorn supporter)....worst draw, MRP confusion, expensive games, focus on pay TV, COLA....Gillon has his hands full and the big fella can't have timed his exit any better.
      Mick is spot on...for once
      I think I might go watch a couple of local games over the weekend.

      Commenter
      rich
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      May 21, 2014, 5:11PM
  • Dear Mick.
    The Cost of Living allowance impacts all players equally. There is a significant cost of living allowance faced by Swan players compared to anyone else. Sydney swans winning a flag or two does not change the cost of living differential. If it is a true cost of living allowance, as it should be, it should be reviewed from Bureau of Statistics data annually. It should not be review when the swans win a few games. How could a club possible organise its affairs if its penalised for success ?
    If it is in fact a "emerging markets" allowance, then call it that. And give it to Brisbane as well, and set some review parameters such as number of drafties from that area as a criteria for its level. Not when some squealing coach from a bottom of the 8 needs to deflect attention from his own incompetence.

    Commenter
    Geoff
    Date and time
    May 21, 2014, 1:24PM
    • Couldn't agree more Mick. When the Swans purchased Tippet following a premiership year, without offloading players and nobody else could afford him, it highlighted what a massive, uneven advantage they enjoy over other clubs. Buddy's appearance this year is rubbing salt into the wounds - it feels as if it's everybody else versus the Billionaires Club. I used to admire and respect Swans enormously as a football club for the way they compete, but now I've accepted they have a significant, AFL contrived advantage. Fix it now!
      The AFL should simply create a 'Sydney living allowance' that sits outside the salary cap and must be spread equally among the playing list, instead of letting the club disperse it how it sees fit. The new rules should be phased-in (starting immediately) based on a review of all player contracts to allow for the problem that Sydney would have already contracted players on previous salary cap rules (subjecting Buddy to the new rules, because they were formally warned before contracting him).

      Commenter
      SR
      Location
      Eltham
      Date and time
      May 21, 2014, 1:26PM
      • The AFL disperses the COLA to all players on the Swans' list. The Swans do not "disperse as it sees fit"
        The Swans traded five players last year to allow for Lance Franklin's wage this year. Time will tell if that was the correct way to go, but with the form of the Swan's administration over the last 10 years or so, don't put your house on it blowing up in their faces.
        Perhaps fans of Victorian clubs might question their own administrations instead of accusing the Swans of having some sort of advantage with the AFL. As another comment mentioned where was the hysteria when Carlton used the then system of third party agreements when they signed Chris Judd?

        Commenter
        Chris
        Location
        Casuarina
        Date and time
        May 21, 2014, 6:06PM
      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87lJxtz7xdc - Watch from 1:40

        Commenter
        Matt
        Date and time
        May 21, 2014, 6:23PM
      • Chris, I agree the Buddy deal is defendable and if it weren't for the Tippet deal, the Swans might have avoided criticism of it (aside from the lunacy of contracting him to 9 years and selfishly jeopardising the Swans future management's ability to afford players toward the tail end of that contract when he is still being paid but not playing), The Tippet deal isn't defendable and highlights a huge advantage. Your comments about the COLA going to each player ignore that if the Swans want to pay a player only $200k, they don't have to pay them $200k plus the COLA - they pay them $200k and pocket the difference, to build a pool of money over the squad large enough to buy two more stars than any other team can afford.

        Commenter
        SR reply to Chris of Casuarina
        Date and time
        May 21, 2014, 6:38PM
      • "When the Swans purchased Tippet following a premiership year, without offloading players and nobody else could afford him..."

        Mark SEABY (Delisted)
        Jarred MOORE (Delisted)
        Campbell HEATH (Traded to Port Adelaide)
        Trent DENNIS-LANE (Traded to St Kilda)
        Matthew SPANGHER (Traded to Hawthorn)
        Brett MEREDITH (Delisted)
        Nathan GORDON (Delisted)

        And then to afford Buddy:
        Shane Mumford to the GWS Giants.
        Jesse White to Collingwood.
        Andrejs Everitt to Carlton.
        Jude Bolton (retired)
        Marty Mattner (retired)
        Mitch Morton (retired)
        Tony Armstrong (delisted)

        I am not even going to bother to work out the total salary offloaded over the last two years. Its clearly well over the $2.5mil or so required to afford the Tippett/Franklin combo plus Laidler and the draftees. The whole COLA thing is such a massive red herring. Simply put, the Swans add 10% to every contract they offer, and they have little choice since every player agent knows its there so demand the extra 10% in order for Sydney to get contracts signed.

        All the AFL is doing now is endangering the ability for Sydney to attract good players to the club. Followed by the decline of the Swans, followed by the reduction in viewer audiences, followed by the reduction in TV rights. Next the AFL starts to lose money and resemble the VFL of the 80s, and then bye bye to the Dogs, Saints, Melbourne and North. Short sighted in the extreme.

        Commenter
        Rob
        Location
        Auckland
        Date and time
        May 21, 2014, 7:00PM

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