General Australian Football Thread

Ok so the salary cap isn’t affected?

Could we see clubs look to sell players en-mass to reduce this difference?

Was this what was bei g warned about we’re turning into a development/selling league?

I don’t think it’s been decided yet, the most recent APL board meeting this week didn’t reach a conclusion on the distribution, once it’s confirmed then the cap may get reviewed too (but then they’d have to get the PFA involved as well).

Some clubs are already on the sales path, Adelaide come to mind, while CCM are potentially the most profitable club this year when you add fees for Monty, Cumdog, Silvera, Triantis and Tulio onto their AFC windfall.

Don’t think there will be a change in the salary cap, but teams were expecting the money to assist in covering the cap. Selling players will be whimsical as they need people interested in the first place. The league has already shown that they’re happy to sell players if there’s an offer on the table.

I suspect it comes from the fact that Paramount has significantly decreased the money they’re paying the league, which, in fairness isn’t the APL’s fault unless they negotiated some ridiculous contract. I’ve long suspected that the metrics used by Paramount were based on the number of people that subscribed to their platform using the codes sent out to members. If that’s the case, it would be ridiculous as there’d be a significant number of poeople that would have signed up as non-members.

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Move to a floating soft cap, and derive the limit from what the clubs can actually afford to spend.

  • Drop the floor (other than the implicit cap created by the full-time minimum wage)
  • Set the soft cap to say 125% of the previous season’s median cap spend (maybe set a bound so that it can’t change by more than say 5% a year to allow some stability and predictability to allow long-term contracts.
  • Add a progressive luxury tax which scales as you grow further past the threshold to make it prohibitive (ie 100%+ marginal tax rate) to go too far (50%?) over the cap.
  • Keep but tidy up existing exceptions - marquee/designated players consume 10% of the cap, designated player wage limit is say 20% of the floating cap, home-grown players immediately qualify for loyalty discounts if they return from overseas to their academy club.

Players Union would have an absolute field day on these suggestions. They’d tank them in seconds

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After reading that, I think people are going to need to finish a degree at minimum to figure out who has what salary cap amount, and when. And we all know how organisations like CFG are with their accounting …

I will say, however, that removing the cap floor is a really good idea. It also potentially opens the doors for new clubs in smaller markets.

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Players Union is kinda redundant when there is no professional competition.

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From experience in dealing with some Unions, they don’t care…

Yeah. All I could see is PFA saying there are plenty of leagues overseas for players to play in.

From a non-arsehole point of view though.

  • I don’t agree with the designated player stuff, if they’re designated they shouldn’t be included in the cap at all.

  • With the home-grown players, I’d argue that loyalty discounts should decrease at the same rate as they increase based on the number of years away. Otherwise you could see players going away for 10 years, coming back and then being cap exempt.

  • The luxury tax could potentially work, although CFG would probably annihilate this.

For context, this is $1.08 million, if you signed the minimum of 18 players and they were all under 20yo. That’s less than half the current cap. The PFA would 100% never agree to this kind of radical change, it opens up the door to all sorts of bad faith investors who would ruin the professionalism and contract certainty - imagine if Clive Palmer could have fired everyone in protest and played 18 kids.

I’ve previously elaborated on how the marquee positions undermine the cap.

The MLS does it this way and its MUCH more equitable.

If clubs are developing young players good enough to have long and successful careers overseas, they absolutely should be rewarded for that by having a competitive advantage in bringing them home.

It improves the development incentives, where arguably clubs currently might not want to develop players who are “too good”, and get snapped up on potential before they’ve made much/any impact in the league or been contracted long enough to secure a meaningful fee.

And as we become more of a selling league, it helps fan engagement in the long term if we improve home-club affinity and “coming home” increasingly means to their club, rather than just whoever the league’s highest bidder happens to be when the time comes.


I thought home grown exemption peaks at 50% of salary?

After just a few years of being run uncompetitively at the floor, Newcastle - a reasonable market with a convenient geography (driveable away trips to 4/11 clubs) and a long football history - is reportedly being acquired for cents on the dollar compared to what is being asked of WU, Macarthur, Auckland, a hypothetical Canberra.

Nobody is doing this unless they have to.

PFA is ultimately run by nearly-or-recently-retired players, decades away from pension age, and often (eg Busch, even Wilko before him) having retired without really making fuck-off money.

Their ongoing livelihoods after their spell at PFA are essentially dependent on the professional football industry surviving in this country.

Also, there isn’t a competition anywhere in the world where owners have bargaining power to retain sizeable profits at the expense of player salaries in an open market. Competitive pressures make that impossible, particularly with a global market the size of football’s.

In the long run, a softer cap is unambiguously better for players.

Unless we’re suggesting that clubs bleeding $50m/year or whatever it is now is in any way sustainable, in which case sure - it is better for players if we can force clubs to pay wages they can’t afford forever.

I was on the negotiating committees on multiple occasions for EBAs, from my experience from these, not a single one of the staff members present, gave a crap about whether their demands would bankrupt the company, they just cared about making sure they got paid the most.

They’re already incentivised though, they get transfer fees for players that have been developed internally.

It is 100% the APL’s fault, they agreed to reassess payments from their biggest revenue source mid-contract on an invisible, shitty platform, while pissing away $140m doing everything except promoting the league and league viewership. They’ve failed in every manner and at every level to manage the situation.


Clive Palmer, Nathan Tinkler, Con Constantine, the Bakries, Tony Sage and many others would have if they could have.


The most generous thing you can say is they’ve, by illustration of mistakes, lack of planning and inability to consider future events, created a fine playbook or set of criteria they need to consider for any future contracts with broadcasters.