Equalisation - It's on the way

Two interesting articles have appeared on foxpsorts.com.au today, both covering the topic of Equalisation in the AFL.

Strange (not) that both appear on the same day…who would have thought that both the AFL and AFLPA would be thinking of this at the same time.


Both are lengthy articles but are worth reading.


The ugly spectre of the richer clubs giving money to the poorer clubs is raised and includes possible equal distribution of membership money.

That last part would potentially kill off club memberships...I pay my membership to support my club...not some basket case club like North Melbourne or Melbourne.


Maybe the AFL could distribute ALL it's AFL membership money to the poorer clubs.


Anyway, here are the articles...read, enjoy and then provide quality Blitz feedback :)


Article 1


IT doesn't nearly have the zest of a doping scandal - or a cast of quite so colourful characters - but short of a fistful of infraction notices to Essendon players, equalisation is set to be THE issue this season.

And it is a tough one, tough for the industry to tackle and tough for the rest of us to get our heads around.

The divide between rich and poor clubs is now so great that some in the AFL worry that we are already past the point where the "any given day" principle - that any team has a fair chance to beat any other on a given day - applies.

To get it back requires big change.

To achieve big change, all the clubs must go along willingly.

And when all is said and done about the various levers that can be pushed or pulled, that means the likes of Collingwood, Hawthorn and West Coast allowing the AFL to pick their pockets and then use the money to help fund their rivals.

The AFL planted the seed by sponsoring industry bigwigs on a fact-finding mission to the US.

All said much was learned.

But the AFL is unique - there are no 10-team towns in American professional sport, where private owners are said to understand that while their teams compete on the field, off it they are engaged in a common enterprise.

There, they contribute a percentage of "local" revenue to the communal pot, for the benefit of the less rich.

Easier to stomach when local - or non-league - revenue means money made from your city, your stadium, your market; not from a shared city where you live cheek and jowl with your fiercest rivals.

All - even those at the helm of rich clubs such as Eddie McGuire at Collingwood and Andrew Newbold at Hawthorn - came back with in-principle support for equalisation.

But now the time has come to address more than philosophical ideals, and so the sticking points are likely to be reached sooner than later.

Already McGuire and his chief executive Gary Pert have expressed concern that measures used to equalise the competition could have the unintended consequence of turning teams rich with heritage and soul into characterless franchises.

McGuire worried that by giving more to those with less, the game could encourage a welfare dependence.

But for those clubs hamstrung by a crippling stadium deal at Etihad, for instance, there is a need for compensation, if not welfare.

Football department spending is the area where the gap between the haves and have-nots is most acute.

Rich and poor alike worry that a cap on spending would stifle innovation and punish those who strive for excellence.

But the players will not stand by for long to watch the spending continue apace as their own earning capacity is limited by an artificial cap.

The counter argument to a cap or even a luxury tax - one option not without supporters - is forget about the top end and worry about a footy department floor; that if you ensure that all teams have enough to spend on the core business of football, there is a point where more is just fat.

Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/equalisation-is-set-to-be-the-issue-of-the-2014-afl-season-writes-grant-baker/story-fni5f22o-1226811517835#ixzz2renpxNQV


Article 2


THE boom in football department spending could kill off the salary cap if it continues unchecked, AFL Players' Association boss Matt Finnis has warned.

The AFLPA late last year delivered the AFL a paper on its ideas about player payment economics and equalisation, which Finnis said were linked.

The two bodies will this year conduct a mid-agreement review of player pay, with the current five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement to expire at the end of 2016.

Finnis said change needed to be made during the final two years of the current deal, with even more reform set for the next agreement.

He said the union was very concerned about the declining "share of wallet" that players were now receiving.

"Some clubs are below 50 per cent of football department spend which goes to players," Finnis said.

"The trend is a decline of about 2 per cent or 2-and-a-bit per year, an across the board decline.

"Clearly there needs to be change, because if the current trends continue, you are going to have some serious issues to deal with down the track in relation to the labour market restraints such as the draft and the salary cap which the industry has relied upon, as ceasing to be valid because players get drafted to clubs and they have a dis-equal opportunity for success.

"It is a fact that the players in good conscience couldn't continue to support a salary cap in a context where you've got such a perverse economic outcome occurring.

"There are a number of objectives through this whole equalisation process - which significantly includes the profitability of all clubs - but a critical piece is that the industry seeks to preserve the integrity of the salary cap, if indeed the industry wants to continue to have it."

The cap on player pay in 2013 was $9.14 million and rises to $9.6 million this year.

Several clubs - headed by Collingwood at $22.5 million - spent more than $20 million on football expenses last season.

Finnis was on the AFL's equalisation fact-finding mission to the US last year and said he had concluded that a combination of levers had to be pulled to arrest spending.

He said some equalisation mechanisms could be used to fund pay increases for players without adding to the burden of poorer clubs.

"You can look club revenue - and you can say what they do in the States is look at all the revenue generated by the teams as opposed to revenue from the AFL for example and say every team will have to pool a certain percentage of those revenues and then everyone takes out a 1/18th share," Finnis said.

"What that gives you is net contributors and net receivers.

"What we say is the amount of money that you provide to the net receivers is used to increase the salary cap.

"What you are then doing is actually funding the salary cap increase for the teams that need it to be funded, but not funding those increases for the teams that can afford to spend it themselves.

"So that applies a break on this arms race in the football spend.

"If you had a view that if you wanted to keep attacking football spend, you can pull a second lever - which is your football expenditure lever, that's where you hear us talk about a luxury tax.

"We think that is a natural lever to pull, but we would prioritise the revenue lever as the first one, but then bring that expenditure lever as well.

"And then the third lever is the AFL distributions ... increasing the proportion of money which goes to the clubs dis-equally."


In place now


The AFL sets a limit on total player payments


Works basically in reverse ladder order, aimed at ensuring the best players end up at teams with greatest need


The league gives financially struggling teams extra funding from the $144 million club future fund it introduced in 2011. From this year, the amount and purpose of that funding will be disclosed to the other clubs

What could be done


A percentage of all clubs' non-AFL revenue such as gate receipts and membership is pooled. Each club then takes a 1/18th share. Used in the NBA and NFL


The AFL has investigated what amount clubs need to spend on football to be competitive. It could fund financially smaller clubs to this level from the club future fund


The AFL could impose a salary-cap style limit on football department spending. Has not received support from clubs and would be difficult to police


Imposed on football department spending above a certain amount, with the proceeds fed into a revenue sharing mechanism

Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/aflpa-boss-matt-finnis-warns-the-rise-in-cash-spent-on-football-departments-could-kill-the-salary-cap/story-fni5ezdm-1226811512439#ixzz2repK9Emz

At the risk of repeating myself…Matt Finnis would have to be the biggest tool in football. This is so agenda driven it’s sickening.

1 Like

Why should we have to contribute financial support to a basketcase club like footscray and north melbourne?

So Finnis is arguing that Collingwood only spent 33% of its football spendings on its players and they deserve more?


Did they factor in that in Baseball and Basketball the teams are given the option of actually auctioning off their TV rights on there own or letting the league do it.


Why should there be equalisation off the field when there isn't any on the field? Does this also mean that Sydney will lose their salary cap allowance?

Memo AFL/AFLPA: these poor clubs are poor because not enough people give a flying ■■■■ about them. It doesn't matter how many dollars you shovel at them, you will not buy them a fan base. And surprise surprise, you get a fan base by working at it like Essendon, and collingwood, and carltank, and whoreforn, and geelong etc do, and by periods of sustained success. Not by cracking out the "peter gordon memorial begging bowl" every few years when your incompetence and irrelevence begins to overwhelm you again.

Note to poor clubs - you are overwhelmed because the footy public is underwhelmed. So if you want to have money, and be competitive, and play with the big boys, then get off your lazy, incompetent arses and do something apart from beg for a share of everyone elses hard earned income. In essence; fire up or ■■■■ off!

Gold Coast and GWS crowds will make up any shortfall for poorer clubs.

Perhaps some sort of ICC style redrafting of power is in order? Let the big three/four/five run stuff for "the good of the game".

Superleague anyone.


Seriously, it's time to get a different competition started, and leave Vlad with a basketcase of leftovers.

I thought what they did to us last year was a "trial" form of equalisation...





PS: Fark you AFL

Superleague anyone.


Seriously, it's time to get a different competition started, and leave Vlad with a basketcase of leftovers.

I would support this.


Superleague anyone.


Seriously, it's time to get a different competition started, and leave Vlad with a basketcase of leftovers.

I would support this.


But that's what the AFL is meant to be!  B)

personally think for the short term, there should be some form of better help for the lower clubs, whether it be these ideas floated, or others.


But I think there has to be a certain time frame, be it 5 or 10 years, mostly to get out of ■■■■■■ deals they already have.


Whether the AFL: help them get better people in to build up their incomes, and the clubs help to, whatever it is that needs to be done, do it.


However the explicit condition is after the set amount of time, you are on your own, no more money from the afl, other clubs, etc etc, you either sink or you swim, and that's it, if you have to fold up, fold up.

Maybe we could start a system whereby people like gordon. brayshaw etc, and their CEO's,CFO's, marketing people etc, do two days a week as the "work experience kids" at the more successful clubs and get the skills they need to get to where they want to go. Seems sensible.

nah, there should always be help for struggling clubs.  Support them, or kill them off.  Don't leave them flopping around in pain.




If you go all in, and everything is combined and re-distributed, it removes all incentive to outperform from a business perspective.  Make it hard to get the hand-outs.  Make the clubs work for them.  Make them show you the results.  Don't just give them everything straight up front and rely on everyones work ethic to keep things rolling.



((in response to post above Reboots))

As said above and in the article, if this were to come in, why would Collingwood bother going out to try and secure 100k members or multi-million dollar sponsorship deals if part of it will be taken away from them?

Maybe we could start a system whereby people like gordon. brayshaw etc, and their CEO's,CFO's, marketing people etc, do two days a week as the "work experience kids" at the more successful clubs and get the skills they need to get to where they want to go. Seems sensible.

Peter Gordon doing work experience under Paul Little
I would like to see that ;)

A summary of the items Finnis is pushing for the next round of enterprise bargaining has been leaked. Items include:

- Main team can train 2 days a week - Tuesday and Thursday. Reserves train Monday and Wednesday

- Thursday, food must be provided in the form of half cooked pies. Pies will be randomly tested for peptides. Reserves are expected to come after the main teams training session.

- Players will get an additional $50 a game travel allowance, although they are expected to buy a raffle ticket at away games at their own expense

- Only the head coach can be paid

- Assistant coaching staff are only allowed to hold the bags when players do speccy training, and setup the witches hats for corridor kicking drills

- Players mums are allowed to drive players to games, but any other person, including club officials, must be accompanied by a player-mum authorised chaperone

- What happens on the footy trip, stays on the footy trip

I hope we are covering Brad Scotts fuel allowance.

Demetriou is a farking Stalinist. Last year was EFC’s Moscow show trial.

- all teams having to rope off a section in the middle of their training ground for the "cricket pitch" even if the ground has no cricket pitch.