An outsiders view of the AFL and how to fix it

jonnymagic

Draftee
Aug 17, 2009
4
7
Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
As a Scotsman who moved to Adelaide 10 years ago and loves AFL footy, I have some HUGE problems with the laughable way it is operated. I completely understand that due to so many clubs in Melbourne it's a hard job to manage the 'fairness' but if you're going to call it a 'National' competition things are not good enough. Here's my issues and how I'd fix some of them.....

Drafting
  • 2yrs min contract for a drafted player is too short and needs to be 4yrs. You have to give clubs longer to develop a player and avoid this awful embarrassment of Melbourne clubs picking and choosing which Interstate clubs to pillage promising players from
  • AFL draftees are too young to understand the world and much of the 'homesickness' stems from uprooting an 18yr old kid from their family before they're ready. Move the draft age back to 19/20 and allow these kids to play VFL/SANFL/WAFL and boost those comps while also letting 'kids' grow up a bit before joining an AFL list
  • The AFL needs to say in no uncertain terms to draftees that they are part of a 'National' comp and if they get drafted it's their responsibility to give it their best wherever they end up

Salary Cap/Free Agency/Trades

  • The salary cap is too low. If you increase the salary cap enough, Interstate teams can easily offer lucrative contracts to Victorian players. I guarantee the number of 'homesick' players drops dramatically once a half decent player can command $1 million a year! If this means clubs like Port Adelaide can't survive due to costs then so be it....18 teams is a lot for a country this size!
  • After the initial 4yr contract is served, everyone is a free agent
  • Absolutely NO compensation for losing a free agent or a player who's contract is up.....this is one of the most laughable aspects of the AFL from an outsiders point of view
  • Once this is set up there would be no such thing as a player 'nominating' the club he wants to play for! The players do 4 years service (which isn't that hard!!!) then they can drive their future

I have a love of all things American sport and of course you get exceptions like the Patriots who are dominant for long periods but generally the fairness and equality is there to see. As I said I love AFL and I'm sure I will continue to do so but it really is a shocking operation for a national competition!!!
 

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Topkent

Hall of Famer
Aug 29, 2010
35,568
43,843
Canada
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Winnipeg Jets
As a Scotsman who moved to Adelaide 10 years ago and loves AFL footy, I have some HUGE problems with the laughable way it is operated. I completely understand that due to so many clubs in Melbourne it's a hard job to manage the 'fairness' but if you're going to call it a 'National' competition things are not good enough. Here's my issues and how I'd fix some of them.....

Drafting
  • 2yrs min contract for a drafted player is too short and needs to be 4yrs. You have to give clubs longer to develop a player and avoid this awful embarrassment of Melbourne clubs picking and choosing which Interstate clubs to pillage promising players from
  • AFL draftees are too young to understand the world and much of the 'homesickness' stems from uprooting an 18yr old kid from their family before they're ready. Move the draft age back to 19/20 and allow these kids to play VFL/SANFL/WAFL and boost those comps while also letting 'kids' grow up a bit before joining an AFL list
  • The AFL needs to say in no uncertain terms to draftees that they are part of a 'National' comp and if they get drafted it's their responsibility to give it their best wherever they end up

Salary Cap/Free Agency/Trades

  • The salary cap is too low. If you increase the salary cap enough, Interstate teams can easily offer lucrative contracts to Victorian players. I guarantee the number of 'homesick' players drops dramatically once a half decent player can command $1 million a year! If this means clubs like Port Adelaide can't survive due to costs then so be it....18 teams is a lot for a country this size!
  • After the initial 4yr contract is served, everyone is a free agent
  • Absolutely NO compensation for losing a free agent or a player who's contract is up.....this is one of the most laughable aspects of the AFL from an outsiders point of view
  • Once this is set up there would be no such thing as a player 'nominating' the club he wants to play for! The players do 4 years service (which isn't that hard!!!) then they can drive their future

I have a love of all things American sport and of course you get exceptions like the Patriots who are dominant for long periods but generally the fairness and equality is there to see. As I said I love AFL and I'm sure I will continue to do so but it really is a shocking operation for a national competition!!!
There's only about 20-30 good players every year. Handing a 4 year contract to pick 53 is stupid.

Raising the salary cap is dumb as well. 50% of the club's live on handouts.
 

living_in_syd

Premiership Player
May 2, 2009
3,338
4,693
sydney
AFL Club
Richmond
The main fix is not having such a high salary cap floor. Its like 95% or something stupid like that?

it means teams like gold coast shouldn't be playing the same wages as say tigers in 2019, and therefore they can roll forward their savings (by smart front loaded contracts) into 2020 and beyond to make a huge warchest bid for big name players
 

NoobPie

Premiership Player
Sep 21, 2016
4,876
3,242
AFL Club
Collingwood
As a Scotsman who moved to Adelaide 10 years ago and loves AFL footy, I have some HUGE problems with the laughable way it is operated. I completely understand that due to so many clubs in Melbourne it's a hard job to manage the 'fairness' but if you're going to call it a 'National' competition things are not good enough. Here's my issues and how I'd fix some of them.....

Drafting
  • 2yrs min contract for a drafted player is too short and needs to be 4yrs. You have to give clubs longer to develop a player and avoid this awful embarrassment of Melbourne clubs picking and choosing which Interstate clubs to pillage promising players from
  • AFL draftees are too young to understand the world and much of the 'homesickness' stems from uprooting an 18yr old kid from their family before they're ready. Move the draft age back to 19/20 and allow these kids to play VFL/SANFL/WAFL and boost those comps while also letting 'kids' grow up a bit before joining an AFL list
  • The AFL needs to say in no uncertain terms to draftees that they are part of a 'National' comp and if they get drafted it's their responsibility to give it their best wherever they end up

Salary Cap/Free Agency/Trades

  • The salary cap is too low. If you increase the salary cap enough, Interstate teams can easily offer lucrative contracts to Victorian players. I guarantee the number of 'homesick' players drops dramatically once a half decent player can command $1 million a year! If this means clubs like Port Adelaide can't survive due to costs then so be it....18 teams is a lot for a country this size!
  • After the initial 4yr contract is served, everyone is a free agent
  • Absolutely NO compensation for losing a free agent or a player who's contract is up.....this is one of the most laughable aspects of the AFL from an outsiders point of view
  • Once this is set up there would be no such thing as a player 'nominating' the club he wants to play for! The players do 4 years service (which isn't that hard!!!) then they can drive their future

I have a love of all things American sport and of course you get exceptions like the Patriots who are dominant for long periods but generally the fairness and equality is there to see. As I said I love AFL and I'm sure I will continue to do so but it really is a shocking operation for a national competition!!!

I agree with the second dot point on "drafting". I reckon the league should move to allow restrictive access to 19 year olds (say one per club per year) and then the rest need to be at least 20. I suspect that probably means more top down investment is needed into the second tier

Free agency compensation is certainly broken as well

Extending the 2 years might be a good idea in theory but the AFLPA wouldn't allow it

More generally, the rest of your points seem to be of an "this is different to how they do it in US sports" ilk

Why on earth would the AFL want to increase the salary cap? It is currently locked in by an CBA at 28% of certain revenues. What possible benefit would there be in going "here players, have more money"?
 

JT_the_Man

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 23, 2014
11,279
10,579
Wonders
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
LCFC, LAL, Stars, 49ers, Canadiens
There's only about 20-30 good players every year. Handing a 4 year contract to pick 53 is stupid.

Raising the salary cap is dumb as well. 50% of the club's live on handouts.
Could probably do it like the NBA, 2 years guaranteed + 2 years team option.
 

nickcat0

Senior List
Jun 22, 2007
292
170
Southport , Lancashire
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Southport FC, St Helens RFC
I'm an outsider who loves the game as well. I've never even visited Australia, and apart from when the AFL used to send 2 teams to London at the end of the season, I've only ever watched on tv.

From my point of view, you've got a wonderful sport, which combines all the best attributes and action from the other football codes.

Every sport perceives that it's got huge problems, and moan about how the sport is dying. From NFL players getting concussion and not standing for the anthem, cricket needing to attract a younger audience, athletics being full of doping cheats, to financial corruption in soccer. In reality, they all seem to survive just fine.

Enjoy the sport you've got on your doorstep, and stop worrying about how national it is. It'll be just fine.
 

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JPetro83

Premiership Player
Sep 25, 2014
4,218
2,769
Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Sturt, Adel United & Leeds United
a fair fixure is one way to fix it but that wont happen because you cant have a 34 round season so everyone plays eachother twice.
 

Elton Johns Wig

Merkin me crazy 🏆
Apr 20, 2014
22,342
36,278
Trackside
AFL Club
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Luton Town Cronulla #FinsUp
Melbourne clubs picking and choosing which Interstate clubs to pillage promising players from
Interstate teams can easily offer lucrative contracts to Victorian players.
OP certainly took on the SA bitterness very quickly.

Because it's just Vic clubs that lure players home... :rolleyes:
 

RUNVS

Hall of Famer
Suspended
Feb 28, 2007
34,938
32,028
Sydney
AFL Club
Sydney
Salary Cap/Free Agency/Trades

  • The salary cap is too low. If you increase the salary cap enough, Interstate teams can easily offer lucrative contracts to Victorian players. I guarantee the number of 'homesick' players drops dramatically once a half decent player can command $1 million a year! If this means clubs like Port Adelaide can't survive due to costs then so be it....18 teams is a lot for a country this size!
Don't raise the salary cap, but lower the salary cap floor. It is beyond stupid that Gold Coast need to pay their players 95% of the cap, almost as much as Richmond and West Coast are playing their players. Lower it to 80% and give teams like Gold Coast a real chance to build a war chest to go after big named players.
 

RichLeMonde

Rookie
Sep 26, 2019
42
74
Sydney
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Celtics
Don't want to be rude and it's nice to welcome an international fan, but these comments are pretty far from the mark.

There's no evidence of Vic teams in particular benefiting from raiding interstate clubs. What is a problem is that the AFL administrates the game in a particular way, based on the Harvard Business School MBA model, where the business must always grow, always capture new markets, even though the primary reason for the existence of the AFL should not actually be to generate revenue. Non-traditional aussie rules markets - in Sydney, Brisbane, and GC - have accordingly been given certain advantages that translate to better likelihood of onfield success, to maintain the interest of these markets. People laud the Bloods culture at Sydney and point to their incredible run of finals appearances, but much of this was built on the 'cost of living allowance', which was an excuse for a higher salary cap. After Sydney landed Tippet and Buddy in consecutive years, AFL Commissioner Michael Fitzpatrick admitted as much. GWS were introduced purely to make the AFL money. There is a shocking conflict of interest for the AFL between impartiality, on one hand, and an active desire to see GWS succeed on the other. Gil needs to sign off if Leon Cameron was to be fired. The active intervention of the AFL in creating and managing GWS is disgraceful. The AFL knows that there are rusted on fans of St Kilda, North Melbourne etc, who basically will put up with an unfair comp since they will always follow their team and the footy generally. Compared to US sports, it's not free market principles that are corrupting AFL - rather the AFL runs itself as a business and so distorts the market conditions in a particular way in order to further its business interests. But it's factually wrong to say that Melbourne based teams are the chief beneficiaries of this.
 

RichLeMonde

Rookie
Sep 26, 2019
42
74
Sydney
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Celtics
I think the AFL should stop giving out concessions to clubs like gold coast. Clubs like Saints never get concessions when they are having bad times because they are one of the biggest clubs in the league... its bullshit
IMO the AFL exploits the loyalty of fans of clubs like St Kilda, North etc, since they are true fans and stick through the tough years, whereas they will give massive handouts to teams from 'non-traditional markets'.
 

kranky al

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 30, 2009
15,845
19,398
Greenough
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
east perth www.pixelpac.com.au
Don't want to be rude and it's nice to welcome an international fan, but these comments are pretty far from the mark.

There's no evidence of Vic teams in particular benefiting from raiding interstate clubs. What is a problem is that the AFL administrates the game in a particular way, based on the Harvard Business School MBA model, where the business must always grow, always capture new markets, even though the primary reason for the existence of the AFL should not actually be to generate revenue. Non-traditional aussie rules markets - in Sydney, Brisbane, and GC - have accordingly been given certain advantages that translate to better likelihood of onfield success, to maintain the interest of these markets. People laud the Bloods culture at Sydney and point to their incredible run of finals appearances, but much of this was built on the 'cost of living allowance', which was an excuse for a higher salary cap. After Sydney landed Tippet and Buddy in consecutive years, AFL Commissioner Michael Fitzpatrick admitted as much. GWS were introduced purely to make the AFL money. There is a shocking conflict of interest for the AFL between impartiality, on one hand, and an active desire to see GWS succeed on the other. Gil needs to sign off if Leon Cameron was to be fired. The active intervention of the AFL in creating and managing GWS is disgraceful. The AFL knows that there are rusted on fans of St Kilda, North Melbourne etc, who basically will put up with an unfair comp since they will always follow their team and the footy generally. Compared to US sports, it's not free market principles that are corrupting AFL - rather the AFL runs itself as a business and so distorts the market conditions in a particular way in order to further its business interests. But it's factually wrong to say that Melbourne based teams are the chief beneficiaries of this
I understand what you are saying vis a vis the market distortion - have you another suggestion for expanding into non - heartland states?

Be interested to see a graphic of what clubs players from gws and gc have gone to though.
 
Last edited:

RichLeMonde

Rookie
Sep 26, 2019
42
74
Sydney
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Celtics
I understand what you are saying vis a vis the market distortion

Be interested to see a graphic of what clubs players from gws and gc have gone to though.
I'd be interested too - though would want to compare the circumstances, since players leaving in fair trades isn't quite the same, since they actually allows GWS to maintain an ongoing pool of future draft picks.
 

FRUMPY

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 18, 2006
11,142
10,751
Melbourne
AFL Club
Carlton
Easy way to fix it - clubs have control for the first 5 years of a players career. Free agency after 5 years.

But this bullshit of 'its not fair that players can be traded without their consent'.......don't like it then don't play footy. Play local footy.

The AFL were dumb in they let players get the best bits of free agency (for players) without giving up anything.

Lastly, clubs need to harden the fu** up and stop letting players dictate where they want to play. If they are contracted and you want to keep them, don't let them leave.

Sent from my CPH1879 using Tapatalk
 

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