Player Salaries for next year

I have been wondering about player contracts/salaries for next year. The flow-on effect of reduced AFL income through to lower salary caps and therefore lower player contracts may be huge and lead to a lot of disgruntlement. It will certainly lead to unrealised expectations for players moving clubs (JD?).

What happens if a player has a watertight contract for a certain amount of money and insists on sticking to it. Does that mean everyone else gets less?

What about if we moved to everyone’s contract being expressed as a percentage of each club’s salary cap. This would be transparent and help me understand what is going on. For example I would know that when Dylan Shiel came what the impact this would have on relativities. It would also help in understanding the effect that back-ended contracts will have in the future.

I am not sure anyone else is interested but thought I would post anyway.


I’m interested too. From what I’ve read the lower salary caps will be achieved mostly by list sizes decreasing, which will allow already contracted players to be paid according to their contracts. There could be options for players on longer contracts to back-end them. But yeah, players signing a new contract (whether they’re moving clubs or not) would probably get less than they might have if there was no covid.

I think the AFL may also look at freezing the TPP for an extended period of time to minimise the ‘upfront’ pain

Reducing the list size will do next to nothing to chance the wage bill on its own as it will mostly be the lowest paid players who get cut. To achieve the real savings there needs to be a blanket percentage cut to all contracts.

I can’t see the AFLPA rolling over on this matter easily given they have a CBA in place with very clear rules regarding salary cap and list sizes.


I suggest that many of Essendon’s players are over rated and overpaid.

Too many players are repeatedly injured and missing from matches.

We are paying top dollar and getting mediocrity.


I probably agree - but how can you tell. We don’t know what they are paid compared to anyone else. If they published player salaries anonymously, as a percentage of the club’s salary cap we might get an idea of what is going on

A contract is a contract. It depends on what is in the fine print. One thing you can be sure of the next lot of contracts will have many more clauses. Contracts in the AFL are broken.

I would think the AFL will remain in a cost cutting mode, less staff and less money to the clubs and players, and the clubs will have to manage as best they can. Interesting times lay ahead and few will be happy with the leftovers.

The potentially bigger issue is if COVID drags on into 2021 - Nearly all clubs will lose +5 million in 2020 and if this rolls into 2021 then clubs could be in danger - Player salaries may be the least of our worries.

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Moz will be the 38th player to play for us this year and if daniher gets a go he’ll be 39th

I don’t know how we’d go with reduced list sizes

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The only way I can see them reducing list sizes would be to make it up with an increase in rookies, ie cut the main list down to 35 and have 9 rookies who would be on the AFL equivalent of the minimum AFL wage.

But even then the $$ difference between those bottom 5 contracts and a rookie contracts wouldn’t be that significant, especially when they are trying to cut the TPP by $3mill