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SBD Global/February 26, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Football League, Power Clubs Ready For Equalization Showdown

A "showdown is looming" on Thursday with the Australian Football League and its most powerful clubs "at loggerheads" as CEO Andrew Demetriou and his team "strive to push through a series of new Robin Hood-style taxes in a bid to reshape the competition," according to Caroline Wilson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Collingwood President Eddie McGuire "is leading the charge" against a tax on club revenues with several other clubs confirming staff "will lose their jobs next season with overseas camps and study opportunities abandoned once the AFL places a cap upon football department spending." The yet-to-be-rolled out equalization measures "seem likely to include:"
  • A $0.50 on the dollar tax on clubs "breaking the new football department spending cap."
  • The "rapid phasing out" of Sydney's cost-of-living allowance.
  • The "removal of the playing veterans' allowance" -- a move which would have stripped A$1M ($900,000) from Geelong's salary cap last season.
  • Another "significant pay increase across the board" for players.
  • A tax on the wealthier club revenues, which would "hit hard on clubs such as Collingwood, Hawthorn and West Coast."
  • An AFL undertaking "not to burden the other 16 clubs in any funding increase" to GWS and the Gold Coast.
  • The early purchase of Etihad Stadium to "lift that financial burden from the Bulldogs, St Kilda and North Melbourne" (SMH, 2/26).
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