Interchange Cap Catches Some Australian Football League Clubs Off Guard
Australian Football League CEO Andrew Demetriou said that the interchange cap is coming in '14, "whether coaches like it or not, but his statement has caught some clubs off guard," according to Matt Murnane of THE AGE. Demetriou said on Tuesday that the AFL would "bring in an interchange cap next season and was using 2013 to work out the number of rotations and other changes that would be brought in." Several clubs "expressed surprise" to hear the AFL CEO "talk so definitively about the introduction of a cap next year." However, an AFL spokesperson said that all clubs "had been told the cap would be in place next season." And Demetriou met senior coaches at the end of last season "to discuss the change." Demetriou clarified on Tuesday: ''The fact of the matter is, unless people have got amnesia, the AFL Commission has already passed the rule … it said at the end of the year the cap's coming in. There's no going back on that -- that is already put in place'' (THE AGE, 3/6).
PLAYING IT SAFE: In Melbourne, Adam Cooper reported the AFL's investigator and one of Australia's leading sports administrators "agree the league should consider telling its integrity team, which players have failed drug tests to safeguard against corruption." AFL Integrity Services Manager Brett Clothier and former Cricket Australia CEO Malcolm Speed separately told a Senate committee on Tuesday that "there was merit for those watching for spot-fixing to know which players had drug strikes against their names." However, independent Senator Nick Xenophon "raised the prospect of the AFL's integrity investigators also being informed" at the joint Senate committee on gambling reform, which is focusing on the impact of gambling advertising in sport. Xenophon said that players who used illicit drugs and who could have a strike against their name "could be blackmailed into providing inside information or being coerced into spot-fixing scenarios by drug dealers or organised crime groups" (THE AGE, 3/6).
STICKING AROUND: In Melbourne, Jon Ralph reported Demetriou has said that his tenure "will extend well beyond a decade, hinting he plans to be in the top job for a minimum of three more years." Demetriou has "consistently refused to say when he might call it a day, stating only that he is happy about the challenges of his role." However, when he accepted VicSport's Victorian Sports Leadership Award on Monday night, he "made it clear he would be at the helm" for the next TV rights negotiation. AFL Commission Chair Mike Fitzpatrick said last year of Demetriou: "When the commission feels he's starting to flag or tire, we'll tap him on the shoulder." However, Fitzpatrick gave his total backing to Demetriou, who he said had "unfinished business" to "get up a good, stable, 18-team competition" (HERALD SUN, 3/6).