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SBD Global/June 5, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Players 'Big Winners' In Australian Football League's Equalization Measures

Players "are the big winners" of the Australian Football League’s equalization measures "to even up the competition," according to Greg Denham of THE AUSTRALIAN. All players will be better off following pay increases over the next two years, "but those who will significantly benefit are free agents and those coming out of contract in October." Players wishing to move to rival clubs "could be in for massive cash windfalls following the AFL Commission’s decision to allow struggling clubs the chance to play catch-up with the strong clubs" and pay as much as 105% of the salary cap from '15. More clubs with more money "will now have the potential to join in bidding wars for players seeking to move." Under the new rules, some clubs could have as much as A$1M ($927,000) to spend on recruits, "or on their current listed players whose retention is a priority" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/5). In Sydney, McKay & Forsaith wrote AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou "leaves the AFL a happy man after overseeing a raft of measures designed to keep footy fair." AFL Chair Mike Fitzpatrick said, "At the heart of these measures is the fans' experience. A determination to ensure each club has the on-field capacity to compete and potentially win each week." Demetriou's successor, Gillon McLachlan, said that "spending was just not sustainable and damaged the ability of poorer teams to compete." McLachlan: "There's an acceptance (the luxury tax) is necessary" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/4).
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