AFL increases pay offer to players

By Guy Hand,


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    The average AFL player will earn more than $250,000 a season from next year if the players’ union says yes to a new pay deal.

    The AFL has boosted its pay offer to players to $1.144 billion over the next five years – a deal it says will lift players’ average salaries by 11 per cent in 2012.

    But the league has again refused to budge on the players’ major demand – that they are paid a fixed percentage of revenue.

    Instead, it has tabled what it says is a final offer to the players, including increases in retirement fund benefits and minimum wages for rookies, as well as a $10 million pool for top-flight players to promote the game.

    The offer is a fixed dollar amount, rather than the 25 to 27 per cent of revenue that the players – through their union, the AFL Players’ Association (AFLPA) – have been demanding.

    “It’s the final offer – there is no more money,” AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said of the league’s offer, which was tabled at a meeting between all parties in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

    “The offer is a final offer – it is a total offer in dollars.

    “It is one of the best improvements in real wages and benefits for any workforce in Australia.”

    The deal is a total increase of more than $300 million on what players were paid under the previous five-year collective bargaining agreement, and up $54 million on the league’s initial offer to players in May.

    Should players accept the deal, the league says AFL players’ average salaries would increase from $236,000 in 2011 to $262,000 next year and beyond $300,000 in the final year of the agreement.

    Retirement fund contributions would double from $36 million in the previous five-year agreement to $72 million under the deal from 2012 to 2016.

    The minimum rookie wage would increase from $35,000 a year to $49,000, and an ambassadors’ fund would be set up – with a total of $2 million available annually to be paid to players for promoting the game.

    The players have until September 15 to respond to the AFL offer, although the AFLPA have indicated they won’t be rushed into meeting that deadline.

    The association welcomed the increased pay offer from the league, but said they were unsure whether the improved terms would be enough to reach an agreement.

    AFLPA boss Matt Finnis said it was too early to say what action players would take if they rejected the offer.

    But he ruled out any prospect of industrial action disrupting the finals series or Brownlow Medal this year.

    “Our members’ focus is on playing the finals, on achieving the ultimate success, which is a premiership cup,” he said.

    “There’s no suggestion from the AFL Players’ Association or the players that there would be anything done to detract from that this September.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • September 1st 2011 @ 1:44pm
      TW said | September 1st 2011 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

      The AFL has taken the moneys allocated to the future fund and other areas likely to be international funding as well to help the pay rise. Does not look good for increased international funding after a successful International Cup.
      However the players still want their fixed percentage increase of the total AFL funding. Probably common sense will prevail and they will accept the offer.

    • Roar Guru

      September 1st 2011 @ 2:42pm
      The Cattery said | September 1st 2011 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

      With this deal, average AFL salaries will go up from the present $236,000 to $300,000 per annum, which is a pretty good average salary, you’d hope the player will accept it without too much wrangling.

    • Roar Guru

      September 1st 2011 @ 7:46pm
      The Cattery said | September 1st 2011 @ 7:46pm | ! Report

      I was just catching up with the Age then and they reckon the players will reject this offer.

      Also read that first year players would have a starting base salary of $56,000, with capacity to earn double that with games played at senior level, which is pretty good for an 18 year old kid.

    • Roar Guru

      September 1st 2011 @ 8:08pm
      The Cattery said | September 1st 2011 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

    • September 1st 2011 @ 9:00pm
      stabpass said | September 1st 2011 @ 9:00pm | ! Report

      These salary cap rises dont always mean that all players get a pay rise, the Judds of this world may however.

      Good to see rookie salarys increased.

      I may be very harsh, but i reckon in general quite a few players appear to be overpaid, add in great life contacts, great medical, best training, and for most, doing a job they have always dreamed of, since being a boy, AFL players get it very good.

      If grass root programs, clubs etc get the short shrift because of greed, i will not be a very happy camper.

      I may be in the minority, but IMO Demetrious pay has nothing to do with this issue, and a comparison to American sports is equally as pathetic, The AFL as the ‘keeper of the code’, subsidises AF programs around the nation, and indeed the world over, the NBA, NFL does not.

      The AFLPA appear to me , to not to live in the real world, and appear greedy.

      Clubs pleading with fans to hand over their hard earned for player facilities, whilst players get big payrises, does not appear to me a good look.

      • Roar Guru

        September 1st 2011 @ 10:54pm
        The Cattery said | September 1st 2011 @ 10:54pm | ! Report


        Definitely not a good look, and the public are jack of it, that’s for sure.

        The flip side is that AFL players earns a smaller slice of the cake than any other professional sport in the world.

      • September 2nd 2011 @ 6:59am
        amazonfan said | September 2nd 2011 @ 6:59am | ! Report

        I don’t agree. The AFLPA has noted that in past agreements, players have lost money. They didn’t get promised raises, and so have done badly. I also think that for one of the world’s most spineless unions to finally get some backbone is a good thing. Personally, I fully support the AFLPA.

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