Making the AFL fair. Photo: Matt Davidson
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says the AFL needs to concentrate on the draft and salary cap rather than tax the richer clubs in a bid to help equalise the competition.
And on the morning that The Age's Emma Quayle revealed that the AFL is considering a 'luxury tax' on rich clubs like Collingwood, league deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan has hit the airwaves to emphasise a range of measures is being considered.
McGuire said the league must avoid simply mimicking the measures used by America's National Football League.
McGuire said fixing the stadium deal for clubs playing at Etihad Stadium was important, but "the two biggest issues are to make sure that the smaller or poorer clubs … can compete against anyone is to get the salary cap right and to get the draft right".
McLachlan told Triple M and SEN radio that the AFL was offering "broad brush" equalisation proposals to clubs ahead of a meeting in March, and was not trying to steer the discussion.
"It was supposed to give you the data and then let the clubs respond about what they thought," McLachlan told Triple M.
"There's a whole series of things at play here and I don't think that anyone's already got it in their head that it's a luxury tax or just taxing clubs is necessarily a solution. I do think it's a completely open mind and hopefully with the clubs and the commission and everyone else we go in that's the approach we go into the meeting in March."
Mclachlan said the AFL's consultative approach was similar to that taken at Wednesday's drug summit.
"There is an issue that needs solving and then how we do it is up for debate. If we did for instance have stadium arrangements that were all the same, then that would deal with a lot of the issues."
On SEN, McLachlan reiterated that the discussion would canvas many proposals.
"(It was designed to) give them some facts about relative strengths of clubs, to look at why the problem exists, to look at international experiences, what people might be doing in other codes … and then ask the clubs on that basis do they think that we have some issues that we need to be solving.
"We think there are a range of solutions. The luxury tax... is an example of one used in (Major League Baseball) certainly.
"But I think we're very open to how we might solve it. I don't think we've got any fixed views at the moment."