Sure the FFA dont have to negotiate, unless the code has absolute contractual priority which the AFL has at Etihad during the season, and to a degree at the MCG as well. Strangely there terms of these contracts arent new - the AFLs MCG contract was signed in the early 90s, and its Etihad contract is now in its 15th year. tSoccer may well be growing, but the FFA does itself no favours trying to ignore this [See also World Cup].
This present situation is literally no different to the AFL being unable to use Subiaco for a weekend during its finals, due to it being locked in for a Union test, instead of a tentative booking that may never be utilised.
The Victorians might well point to the fact that the AFL has put far more money into Sydney - including paying for its COLA - than the Sydney Swans have ever given the AFL.
Being able to pay players almost 10% more than ANY other club is a leg up that other clubs simply doubt have, most notably Brisbane who had it taken away as soon as they were successful, and the same rule should have gone for the swans when they started making Grand Finals.
You can go on about the jumper being worth the most in Australian football, but the fact is the Swans are 5th for Sponsorship behind Collingwood, Geelong, Hawthorn and Essendon - and seventh if you factor in the WA clubs corporate box deals.
No one is afraid of the Swans becoming the largest team in the country. Thats delusional at this time. Yes you got 40,000 members - but the membership income from that will tell us a fun story when the reports start coming in - and in any case, that figure puts the Swans at 11th for members this season. But yeah the Vics will be panicking.
The players right to seek trades is a fun one. No one is entirely sure what would happen if players took the league to court over it as legal opinion comes down fairly evenly depending on the interpretation of the law. The AFL would only have to prove that its necessary for equality - the Swans were given the option of having the COLA taken away entirely during the negotiations leading up to the announcement.
If it was good enough for Brisbane to lose the COLA when they became successful, its good enough for the swans.
The AFL isnt wondering why Franklin went to the Swans over the Giants. They both have the COLA, the Swans have better facilities and a better chance at a flag. Its a no brainer.
As for the AFLs Western Sydney plan has been idiotic from the start.
Overly simplistic article, bit it will appeal to the people who continually hate on the AFL administration regardless of what they do.
Mclachlan was key in the establishment of GWS and Gold Coast? No more so than anyone else at the AFL who was involved in setting it up, and less so than guys like Dave Matthews, Tony Shepherd and the Souithport Sharks.
Collingwood werent the only club to complain about Sunday nights. They may have been the loudest but they werent far from an isiland on this.
The COLA/Trade situation sounds like policy on the run, until you realise that the negotiations went on for some weeks before the announcement and originally it was intended to do away with the COLA immediately. The legal comparison falls down in one small regard here - the AFL is not only the operator of the League, its also the majority stakeholder in the Sydney football club, further the AFL Commission does have the right to make the rules pretty much as they go along - the clubs gave them that auithority in 1993. Im curious under what grounds would the swans even be able to take legal action?