The 2021 AFL season is just around the corner. With that, comes expectation.
A new collective bargaining agreement is in place for the next three AFLW seasons after 98 per cent of players approved the new deal.
AFLW players have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that covers the next three seasons.
The new deal passed with approval from 98 per cent of the playing group – after a previous CBA proposal failed to pass a player vote.
That previous proposal was knocked back after only 70 per cent of players agreed to it, with a group of players seeking legal advice over concern about lack of consultation.
With the league expanding to 14 teams in 2020, the season will be extended to consist of eight home-and-away matches each then three weeks of finals. The home-and-away season will increase to nine games in 2021, then ten in 2022 – meaning teams still won’t play every other team once.
The deal also includes a promised independent competition review into the AFLW.
“This deal guarantees increases in wages, games, training time and funding for off-field support at a time when 120 new playing positions have been created through the introduction of four new teams,” AFL players’ association CEO Paul Marsh said.
“Our players have a strong desire to keep growing the competition, and while they accept they won’t play every team once within this CBA, growth in the number of games will continue to be a priority for players moving forward.
“We are also pleased to have a commitment to an AFLW Competition Review, which will allow us to work closely with players and the industry on matters of importance to ensure AFLW players have every opportunity to thrive.”
Player payments will increase by 21 per cent in 2020 with increases of seven per cent and 16 per cent in 2021 and 2022 respectively, while the new CBA also introduces two-year standard playing contracts.
The minimum Tier 4 wage was $13,400 but will gradually rise year-on-year to reach a sum of $20,239 by 2022. Total player payments will also rise year-on-year.
There will be $232,000 in finals prize money for each of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and $246,500 in season 2022, while teams from the two grand finalists each season will receive an extra week’s pay.
Every club will be mandated to appoint an AFLW player development manager, with player development funding to rise from $285,000 to $470,000 per year.
The revised deal also includes giving players advanced notice of key season dates (minimum four months’ notice).