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SBD Global/February 27, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Pressure From Wealthy Clubs Leads Australian Football League To Rethink Taxes

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Pressure from the competition's financially powerful clubs has led the Australian Football League "to rethink the way it will levy" equalization taxes worth millions of dollars, according to Greg Denham of THE AUSTRALIAN. The league appears less likely to tax the total revenue of clubs "following a backlash against that option by several of the wealthier clubs, spearheaded by Collingwood, Hawthorn and West Coast." Instead, as the AFL attempts to reduce the gap between the rich and poor clubs, "a more favoured option is understood to be a tax on match-day revenues." According to clubs contacted on Wednesday, "a levy on home-match returns was a fairer approach because it addressed a lack of opportunity for many clubs in prime time, and lopsided stadium deals that haunted traditionally poor-performing clubs with lower supporter bases" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/27). In Melbourne, Peter Hanlon wrote in a move that "would hearten football fans especially frustrated with one particular element of the AFL's decision review system" -- judging whether the ball has crossed the goal line before being touched -- the league is investigating placing cameras in goal-post padding. The AFL has already committed to installing additional fixed cameras at most venues, to be used in conjunction with the broadcaster's vision, thereby providing both a broader range of footage and giving its ''fourth umpire'' the ability to make better, faster decisions. Extra cameras "will be fitted at venues that will host at least four games in the home-and-away season, giving the decision review process vision that has been shot from up to nine different angles" (THE AGE, 2/27).
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