Financial survival of the AFL and its' 18 clubs

Which AFL clubs are in the most financial danger due to the Coronavirus situation?

  • Adelaide

    Votes: 5 3.2%
  • Brisbane

    Votes: 36 23.1%
  • Carlton

    Votes: 17 10.9%
  • Collingwood

    Votes: 6 3.8%
  • Essendon

    Votes: 10 6.4%
  • Fremantle

    Votes: 9 5.8%
  • Geelong

    Votes: 12 7.7%
  • Gold Coast

    Votes: 81 51.9%
  • Greater Western Sydney

    Votes: 48 30.8%
  • Hawthorn

    Votes: 8 5.1%
  • Melbourne

    Votes: 53 34.0%
  • North Melbourne

    Votes: 96 61.5%
  • Port Adelaide

    Votes: 38 24.4%
  • Richmond

    Votes: 12 7.7%
  • St. Kilda

    Votes: 108 69.2%
  • Sydney

    Votes: 16 10.3%
  • West Coast

    Votes: 6 3.8%
  • Western Bulldogs

    Votes: 55 35.3%

  • Total voters
    156

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Our Game

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Straight form the horses mouth!The Age today.

Foxtel slashes jobs in fight for survival
Zoe Samios
By Zoe Samios

April 8, 2020 — 5.34pm
  • Foxtel has made 200 employees redundant and will stand down another 140 staff members until the end of June as the News Corp-controlled pay TV operator scrambles to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
The job cuts were confirmed in an email sent to staff late on Wednesday by Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany, who said the company had to "act now" to ensure it remained strong in the long-term.
Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany said government restrictions were hurting the pay TV operator

Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany said government restrictions were hurting the pay TV

"Australia has experienced tough times before," Mr Delany wrote. "We know that in tough times Foxtel becomes a great source of comfort to people at home who want to be informed and entertained. Right now, with Australians isolating themselves at home, our customers need us more than ever.
"The government COVID-19 restrictions are however seeing major challenges for us including the broadcast and streaming of live sport. And looking ahead, the economic outlook for Australia is deteriorating and our continued transformation will become even more important."
"As you know, we have already stopped all non-essential expenditure; stopped hiring; released all casuals, contractors and freelancers in non-critical roles and announced a shutdown over Easter for everyone who is not essential to maintaining our service to customers."
Foxtel has battling fierce competition from online streaming services. It has also offering discounts to customers threatening to cancel their subscriptions to a lack of sport available on the service.
 

big_e

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Im not the only person saying the AFL is top heavy and some in the media are saying the same thing and as I said this crisis and the coming recession will sort it out and you will find a slimmed down AFL will survive OK!
But you need to say where you think it could be slimmed down. Just saying "the media are saying the same thing" is meaningless.

The biggest issue in these conversations is that there should probably be an AFL that just runs the league and then another, separate governing body that does all of the game development, oversees the rules of the game, etc, and is the governing body of the sport as a whole. Think of the Premier League vs the Football Association in the UK.
 

BringBackTorps

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There are tens of millions to be saved by slashing the 600 staff that the AFL HQ had up to the current crisis.
Ive said for a long time that the AFL itself was a bloated quango sucking on the $400 million per year from the TV deals.10 Execs on $800,000 is just not sustainable in the future.
Hopefully this near death experience will make the AFL more prudent with the games income.
The 11 AFL executives are paid c. $10.5m pa. The AFL is a Not For Profit Organisaion. They are highly overpaid, particularly when one considers AFL HQ revenues. A listed company in the private sector, on similar revenues to the AFL, would not get away with the AFL executive pay rorts.

This total $10.5m executive amount is probably the highest in the world for any Not For Profit organisation.
(Excluding the US major sports- many who are also Not For Profits; & are based in the homeland of disgusting free market greed & corporate excess- but have FAR higher revenues)

On 3AW Radio last week, host T. Elliot said, in 1969, Richmond only had 3 full time employees- it now has c. 200 employees.

Of course, clubs & the AFL now have FAR greater responsibilities/more expensive medical expertise & equipment, & multiple business interests (& generate MUCH greater revenues) to promote the game- particularly in NSW & Qld., where the AFL is doing a good job.
Not so much in the ACT, however, where AF was clearly the no. 1 sport until c.1983 (Raiders NRL entry)- but it has started to have strong growth recently. GR AF & elite pathways, since c.2000, are a disaster in Tas.

The issue for the AFL/clubs is that many staff are paid too much- it would be prudent to retain most staff, but significantly reduce their wages (except medical).

Clubs have already made permanent reductions in their Football Dept. cap from $9.4m-$6.4m- the cut might also become deeper than $3m, & be a hard cap.
Also, Club &AFL HQ administration costs will also have to be permanently cut. It is possible most staff can be retained, but on much lower wages from 2021.

 
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Johnny Bananas

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Interesting solution to one much talked about club.

I wonder if going back to private ownership is a sound idea. AFL club have always functioned best on a member ownership model, and venture capitalists are known for being vultures. That said, there may not be much choice for the AFL in these economic times, and the Giants don't have much in the way of a member base to protest or traditions to uphold.
 

big_e

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The 11 AFL executives are paid c. $10.5m pa. The AFL is a Not For Profit Organisaion. They are highly overpaid, particularly when one considers AFL HQ revenues. A listed company in the private sector, on similar revenues to the AFL, would not get away with the AFL executive pay rorts.

This total $10.5m executive amount is probably the highest in the world for any Not For Profit organisation.
(Excluding the US major sports- many who are also Not For Profits, & are based in the homeland of free market greed, but have FAR higher revenues)

On 3AW Radio last week, T. Elliot said, in 1969, Richmond only had 3 full time employees- it now has c. 200 employees.

Of course, clubs & the AFL have FAR greater responsibilities & multiple business interests (& generate MUCH greater revenues) now to promote the game- particularly in NSW & Qld. where the AFL is doing a good job.
Not so much in the ACT, however, where AF was clearly the no. 1 sport until c.1983 (Raiders NRL entry)- but it has started to have strong growth recently. GR AF & elite pathways, since c.2000, are a disaster in Tas.

The issue for the AFL is that many staff are paid too much- it would be prudent to retain most staff, but simply reduce their remuneration.

Clubs have already made permanent reductions in their Football Dept. cap of $9.4m-$6.4m- the cut might become deeper than $3m, & be a hard cap.
Also, Club administration costs will also have to be permanently cut.It is possible most staff can be retained, but on much lower wages.

I'm guessing Richmond's staff includes 45 AFL players, another 10-15 VFL players, 30+ ALFW players, coaches, medical staff, etc. Plus the media people who keep the members informed, and the staff in the membership department who have to deal with 100,000 members. Clubs have grown, unquestionably, but it's largely the day to day stuff that we as members demand.

And if you look at listed companies with a similar turnover, the salaries are a little high, but not sky high.
 

Our Game

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But you need to say where you think it could be slimmed down. Just saying "the media are saying the same thing" is meaningless.

The biggest issue in these conversations is that there should probably be an AFL that just runs the league and then another, separate governing body that does all of the game development, oversees the rules of the game, etc, and is the governing body of the sport as a whole. Think of the Premier League vs the Football Association in the UK.


Thats the biggest problem when you have the major league running all Australian football in the nation.
The AFL commission should be divorced from the AFL competition and become the independent Australian Football Commission and act like the ANFC did in the past before the AFL/VFL killed it off.The chances of this happening are zero!
 

RedV3x

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I wonder if going back to private ownership is a sound idea.
Yes, if going back o the same model and circumstances.
Seemingly the Giants have benefited already and were to have an overseas game because of these people.
After all the rubbishing of this club by some people why would the same people worry?
Are they worried it just might be a success in the case of the Giants?
 

RedV3x

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The biggest issue in these conversations is that there should probably be an AFL that just runs the league and then another, separate governing body that does all of the game development, oversees the rules of the game, etc, and is the governing body of the sport as a whole.
It's an issue - but the most minor of issues.
The Laws of the game - takes stuff all to have a standard laws of the game and modify to suit the individual leagues.
Governing body - what is there to govern exactly. Affiliations and standards...
Game development - that costs money and game development money has to come from somewhere especially at the bottom end.
The AFL does a reasonably good job at the top end by using it's expertise to leverage results.
 

Johnny Bananas

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Thats the biggest problem when you have the major league running all Australian football in the nation.
The AFL commission should be divorced from the AFL competition and become the independent Australian Football Commission and act like the ANFC did in the past before the AFL/VFL killed it off.The chances of this happening are zero!
Why? And I have the same question for big_e
 

big_e

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Why? And I have the same question for big_e
It makes for confused decision-making.

GCS and GWS are there to help grow the game in NSW and Qld but it weakens and compromises the competition, for example. Rules are changed because of things that happen in that one competition but they apply to all levels. Next Gen Academies are a great idea to grow the game in certain sectors but again, it leads to complications with AFL drafts, etc.

I think the WAFL/WAFC model works really well, with major input from the WAFL and funding coming down from the WA AFL clubs, but then operates independently.
 

Johnny Bananas

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Rules are changed because of things that happen in that one competition but they apply to all levels.
Can you give some examples of this, and why that's a problem?

Next Gen Academies are a great idea to grow the game in certain sectors but again, it leads to complications with AFL drafts, etc.
This is less a problem with the AFL as a governing body and more that the AFL is abrogating development and palming it off to the clubs. There's a reason why they do that though, the Northern academies don't just develop talent, they're also there to increase the home-grown talent of the northern clubs and foster a sense of loyalty in those players so they don't run off to Victoria at the first opportunity. And the NGAs only exist because the Vics had a whinge about Northern academies.
 

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Kwality

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It makes for confused decision-making.

GCS and GWS are there to help grow the game in NSW and Qld but it weakens and compromises the competition, for example. Rules are changed because of things that happen in that one competition but they apply to all levels. Next Gen Academies are a great idea to grow the game in certain sectors but again, it leads to complications with AFL drafts, etc.

I think the WAFL/WAFC model works really well, with major input from the WAFL and funding coming down from the WA AFL clubs, but then operates independently.
Academies are a great example of how conflicted the AFL is, the desire to grow the game on one hand,versus balancing the benefits to its clubs.
Drawing lines on maps isnt the best way to support kids around the country when the teams are only interested in the very best.
Look at the development of academys generally, its been a dogs breakfast following real talent being uncovered & developed, then the whinging, then the actions to shut up the whingers with feelgood announcements wrapped up as development of the game.
 

RedV3x

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Can you give some examples of this, and why that's a problem?
At junior level you have Auskick then progress through modified until open age when the laws standardised,
but they are standardised to AFL laws instead of AFL laws being a subset of the general laws.
All of the recent changes have been of no benefit to general football and are arguably detrimental in many cases.

The most obvious detraction is the 50m penalty in AFLW. The penalty should be the length of a representative kick in that league.
The ruck laws have been an obvious detraction and an added confusion to most leagues.
WTF the AFL doesn't mimic a centre bouncedown and have 10m exclusion at all times is beyond me.
The kick-in changes have been unnecessary outside of the AFL and should have been altered to a simple free kick 15m out.
That would have been a uniformly good improvement.
With the congestion in the AFL boundary changes and 6-6-6 are necessary but irrelevant anywhere else.
 

Kwality

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The Laws of the game - takes stuff all to have a standard laws of the game and modify to suit the individual leagues
Having a committee to oversee the Rules WHY??
If that committee recommends no changes, it'll be disbanded.
They look for rules to change.

Great example of daft mismanagement by the executive & a Commission that seems to accept anything put up to them, I give them a FAIL, & the next thing they should do is remove the CEO as a Commissioner.
 

Kwality

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Interesting take on player wages:

PLAYERS ON MEGA DEALS COULD BE FORCED INTO NEGOTIATIONS

Quote:
There is growing uncertainty over player contracts with managers and clubs waiting on further information from the league amid the coronavirus shutdown.

The AFL will not tick off new deals for the foreseeable future, while long-term arrangements may need to be restructured.

The financial hole the industry finds itself in will be unknown until football returns.

There are also questions of legality. Theoretically, players could refuse to adjust their contracts regardless of a reduced salary cap in future years. This move appears unlikely, but as one club official said, ‘literally anything is possible at the moment.”

There are 30 players in the AFL who have penned long-term deals.*

End quote.

* the article includes more detail on individual contracts ending 24/25/26/27, big dollar, long term contacts.

That agreements between the AFL & AFLPA does not mean anything in terms of the existing contracts & the AFL & clubs, any signatory to the agreement, the contracts remain enforceable & any agent not looking after their players would be in trouble, e.g getting personal legal advice.
 

big_e

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Interesting take on player wages:

PLAYERS ON MEGA DEALS COULD BE FORCED INTO NEGOTIATIONS

Quote:
There is growing uncertainty over player contracts with managers and clubs waiting on further information from the league amid the coronavirus shutdown.

The AFL will not tick off new deals for the foreseeable future, while long-term arrangements may need to be restructured.

The financial hole the industry finds itself in will be unknown until football returns.

There are also questions of legality. Theoretically, players could refuse to adjust their contracts regardless of a reduced salary cap in future years. This move appears unlikely, but as one club official said, ‘literally anything is possible at the moment.”

There are 30 players in the AFL who have penned long-term deals.*

End quote.

* the article includes more detail on individual contracts ending 24/25/26/27, big dollar, long term contacts.

That agreements between the AFL & AFLPA does not mean anything in terms of the existing contracts & the AFL & clubs, any signatory to the agreement, the contracts remain enforceable & any agent not looking after their players would be in trouble, e.g getting personal legal advice.
Nothing theoretical about it - players have signed a contract and are entitled to hold clubs to it. Of course, they just agreed to a variation for this period....

Current CBA ends in 2022, and that mandates both minimum wages and list sizes. If I was the AFLPA, I'd be telling the AFL that it gives them some time to work out a proper, long-term solution rather than makes hasty decisions. Prepare for a shitfight next year, though.
 

Kwality

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Nothing theoretical about it - players have signed a contract and are entitled to hold clubs to it. Of course, they just agreed to a variation for this period....

Current CBA ends in 2022, and that mandates both minimum wages and list sizes. If I was the AFLPA, I'd be telling the AFL that it gives them some time to work out a proper, long-term solution rather than makes hasty decisions. Prepare for a shitfight next year, though.
What would you be advising players to do? Get independent legal advice, agree to nothing, sign nothing !! The AFLPA are compromised, they represent the collective not the individual.
 

Ned_Flanders

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Interesting take on player wages:

PLAYERS ON MEGA DEALS COULD BE FORCED INTO NEGOTIATIONS

Quote:
There is growing uncertainty over player contracts with managers and clubs waiting on further information from the league amid the coronavirus shutdown.

The AFL will not tick off new deals for the foreseeable future, while long-term arrangements may need to be restructured.

The financial hole the industry finds itself in will be unknown until football returns.

There are also questions of legality. Theoretically, players could refuse to adjust their contracts regardless of a reduced salary cap in future years. This move appears unlikely, but as one club official said, ‘literally anything is possible at the moment.”

There are 30 players in the AFL who have penned long-term deals.*

End quote.

* the article includes more detail on individual contracts ending 24/25/26/27, big dollar, long term contacts.

That agreements between the AFL & AFLPA does not mean anything in terms of the existing contracts & the AFL & clubs, any signatory to the agreement, the contracts remain enforceable & any agent not looking after their players would be in trouble, e.g getting personal legal advice.
I said this previously, this is the chaos ball in this whole process

you have some players on long term deals who had massively front ended deals, and a long cheap tail pending. Others are massively back ended, and are yet to receive any of the benefit they signed on for

how this is done fairly, with AFLPA agreement, manager agreement, player agreement, and carves off the 30% the afl is wanting only god knows

and then throw in the cancellation of contracts to get lists down to 35-30 players
 

big_e

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What would you be advising players to do? Get independent legal advice, agree to nothing, sign nothing !! The AFLPA are compromised, they represent the collective not the individual.
If I was a player agent? "You signed a contract in good faith, the club can get funding or support from the AFL, you have every right to get paid what you signed up for. Do you reckon Gil's pay cut is going to be permanent?"
 

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