Free Agency is a disaster for the competition and needs a huge rethink

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The Final Word

Club Legend
Jun 7, 2007
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Player movement in the AFL is weighted way too heavily in favour of the players. The free agency model doesn't work unless the clubs have the right to move players on without their permission.

Players have the freedom to manipulate the system to their favour no matter how much time & effort clubs put into them and more often than not it's the club that is screwed over,

The AFL needs to look at what in my opinion is a flawless player movement system that is the NBA. You have the option of 4 years minimum return on a draft prospect & once a player has paid their dues they have the right to negotiate a clause into their contract where they can't be traded, if not, it's fair game for the teams. The system also rewards loyalty by giving teams the ability to sign their own players on longer/higher contracts than what they can sign at other teams.
What problem does it solve?

Soccer seems to exist ok with free agency (Bosmans) and players able to prevent a transfer of they don't want to go.
 

ItsAllAboutMe

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 22, 2006
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The issue is amplified by the act those at the bottom to try and compete end up over paying free agents like Saad, Williams etc whilst the top teams are able to attract even better free agents who are willing to play for understand with the lure of success being the driving factor.. Rich will get richer..

The answers are not simple, however I think start with giving th w bottom 8 teams the first 16 players in the draft.. Each bottom 8 side would get 2 chances at top talent before h th e bottom 8 gets a pick.

Additionally clubs need to be able totrade contracts, if Geelong want Cameron, GWS should have an opportunity to say okay but it will cost you Guthrie & Stanley.. build in a location fee perhaps 10% of the players contract.
 

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Milkshaker

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Nov 6, 2014
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People need to do their homework. FA was not brought in to allow Lynch and co to go to premiership contenders. It was brought in so mid tier and depth players could leave more easily and get to new clubs in the process get a bigger slice of the pie and even more game time. If you want a Franklin, Cameron etc pay up. No AFL bs compo. 19 for Franklin fmd.
 

Seeds

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Sep 15, 2007
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For a start the AFL could fu** off this "formula" and just tell people the rules. They can still make a discretionary call if they like but at least it's a bit more transparent that way.
Its already very transparent. The only thing they cant tell you is how much the player has been offered as player payments are a privacy matter. It can NOt be more transparent then it already is. Formula based is the only way it can be fair. There is no discretionary calls. That would be a bad thing.
 

Toump Ass

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Its already very transparent. The only thing they cant tell you is how much the player has been offered as player payments are a privacy matter. It can NOt be more transparent then it already is. Formula based is the only way it can be fair. There is no discretionary calls. That would be a bad thing.
Huh! So it is! Always thought it was announced as "band 1" etc.

For those interested:
 

Seeds

Hall of Famer
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Huh! So it is! Always thought it was announced as "band 1" etc.

For those interested:
The formula is rubbish by the way. Franklin gets end of first round pick whilst frawley gets pick 2 is just ridiculous. But it is a formula and therefore consistant and transparent.
 

Toump Ass

Norm Smith Medallist
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The formula is rubbish by the way. Franklin gets end of first round pick whilst frawley gets pick 2 is just ridiculous. But it is a formula and therefore consistant and transparent.
Strange example of how bad the formula is.

I think it's an example of the compensation system working: A team that just won a flag didn't need a number one draft pick. Melbourne couldn't win a game to save it's life and lost arguably it's best player and clearly needed more help to compete.
 

katana

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:rolleyes:

It's just what the numbers say. Last decade 7/16 clubs won flags (44%). This decade it's 6/18 (33%). They're not numbers they'd like and you might well say free agency has contributed to it. Reckon it'll come under review.

There's not an ideal number but I don't think it's a trend they'll like.
that's a bogus statistic as 18 teams can't win a premiership each within a decade. i don't necessarily disagree with you but that's a bizarre way of illustrating a point.

we had 6 unique premiers this decade and 7 unique premiers last decade. so the difference is 1/10... the ideal on that statistic would be 10/16 last decade and 10/18 last decade which according to your argument is getting worse despite the fact it's as statistically diverse as its possible to be.
 
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amazingjoshy

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 29, 2005
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:rolleyes:

It's just what the numbers say. Last decade 7/16 clubs won flags (44%). This decade it's 6/18 (33%). They're not numbers they'd like and you might well say free agency has contributed to it. Reckon it'll come under review.

There's not an ideal number but I don't think it's a trend they'll like.
3 seasons of this decade FA didn't even exist....

I'd argue those statistics aren't a result of free agency, they're more a result of the "we need a full rebuild" attitude.

Teams are happy to linger for years down the bottom of the ladder not interested in contending and happy to collect high draft picks, waiting for their "window".

But pretty much noone thought beforehand it was the Dogs "window" in 2016, or the Tigers in 17, or WC in 18....
 

kreglze

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What problem does it solve?

Soccer seems to exist ok with free agency (Bosmans) and players able to prevent a transfer of they don't want to go.
All the players that are quality enough force their way to the top 6 teams, the bottom 10 teams operate as feeder teams for the top of the league in England, the very thing the AFL want to avoid. Very rare does a player play at a club lower than his level, Jack Grelish and Wilf Zaha one off the top of my head are 2 acceptations to this right now, but there aren't too many more. Also Soccer has a massive amount of leauges to pick from, very different ecosystem.
 

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Bunk Moreland

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3 seasons of this decade FA didn't even exist....

I'd argue those statistics aren't a result of free agency, they're more a result of the "we need a full rebuild" attitude.

Teams are happy to linger for years down the bottom of the ladder not interested in contending and happy to collect high draft picks, waiting for their "window".

But pretty much noone thought beforehand it was the Dogs "window" in 2016, or the Tigers in 17, or WC in 18....
“teams are happy to”?

What a garbage statement. Absolutely no basis.
 

LongPause

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Jul 23, 2017
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“teams are happy to”?

What a garbage statement. Absolutely no basis.
Interesting that anything that could explain your almost pathological urge for there to be 10 unique premiership winners in each decade as unlikely is written off completely and diminished into irrelevance. The reality that some clubs are better run than others? "relatively facile, no basis".

Yet you are more than happy to spout Geelong as a team that has extended their run insinuating free agency as a reason despite not actually naming any of those players. Hiding something?
 

amazingjoshy

Norm Smith Medallist
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“teams are happy to”?

What a garbage statement. Absolutely no basis.
Solid rebuttal

More accurate than blaming FA for your decade long "stat"...when FA didn't even exist at the start of the decade.

2010, 11 and 12 flags had zero to do with FA. Hawks 2013 &14 had no FAs.

In 15 they had Frawley

Dogs, Tigers and Eagles had no FAs in 16, 17 and 18.

Tigers had Lynch in 19.

Talk about no basis.
 

Forever North

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Apr 24, 2011
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compromised drafts, free agency, academy Picks, priority picks, multicultural academies, father/son picks, compensation picks, draft points system, future trading....the whole system is convoluted and open to rorts, just the way the AFL wants it in order to manufacture their desired outcomes.
 

iameviljez

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What problem does it solve?

Soccer seems to exist ok with free agency (Bosmans) and players able to prevent a transfer of they don't want to go.
soccer’s biggest problem is the one that we are trying to avoid: the same set of “big” clubs winning most of the trophies every year
 

nick1408

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Dec 12, 2010
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The team who gains a Level 1 compensation Free agency loses a first round pick. If they don't have a first round pick, then its taken in the following year.

A team shouldn't get a star without giving something up.
On the surface this seems a good option but what it would lead to is the clubs at the bottom not wanting to part with pick 2 for a top tier free agent while the premier will be more than happy to part with pick 18 (which realistically will end up a lower pick than that after all the other bidding and concession picks are added in)
 

master bate

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Aug 13, 2006
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Player movement in the AFL is weighted way too heavily in favour of the players. The free agency model doesn't work unless the clubs have the right to move players on without their permission.

Players have the freedom to manipulate the system to their favour no matter how much time & effort clubs put into them and more often than not it's the club that is screwed over,

The AFL needs to look at what in my opinion is a flawless player movement system that is the NBA. You have the option of 4 years minimum return on a draft prospect & once a player has paid their dues they have the right to negotiate a clause into their contract where they can't be traded, if not, it's fair game for the teams. The system also rewards loyalty by giving teams the ability to sign their own players on longer/higher contracts than what they can sign at other teams.
The NBA model is far from flawless.

Young players get traded all over the place which stuffs their development, we shouldn't have players traded without their consent here, the players simply don't make enough to deserve that treatment.

As far as I know there's not a single player with a no trade clause. You have to be in the league for 8 years and 4 with the same team. There are guys with trade protections but they are guys on one year deals.

Bird rights allow teams to sign their own free agents but mainly that's about not going over the cap as it's a soft cap.

The restricted free agency system does seem to work well, that's the best part of the system and ensures most good young players stick with their current team. The biggest problem with it is the players have so much power as individuals that they have learnt to demand trades with years left of their deals.

It's entirely possible that the AFL crafts a better free agency system that forces top players to be traded for whilst opening up a free market for less valued players. It doesn't need the downfall of players traded against their will or other unsavory things to work.
 

Bunk Moreland

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Sep 22, 2011
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Interesting that anything that could explain your almost pathological urge for there to be 10 unique premiership winners in each decade as unlikely is written off completely and diminished into irrelevance. The reality that some clubs are better run than others? "relatively facile, no basis".

Yet you are more than happy to spout Geelong as a team that has extended their run insinuating free agency as a reason despite not actually naming any of those players. Hiding something?
A pathological urge? I said there’s a trend there and I think they’ll review it. Get your hand off it.

Yes, Geelong - they’ve got arguably the league’s best player, in his prime, via free agency. Without him no, I don’t think they’d have been able to compete at this level the past few years. And now they’re bringing an All Australian Coleman Medal winner.

And before you start with the “Dangerfield was a trade!” crap, it was a free agency move. Dangerfield just gamed it to get Adelaide a little more compensation, though still well less than his true worth.


Solid rebuttal

More accurate than blaming FA for your decade long "stat"...when FA didn't even exist at the start of the decade.

2010, 11 and 12 flags had zero to do with FA. Hawks 2013 &14 had no FAs.

In 15 they had Frawley

Dogs, Tigers and Eagles had no FAs in 16, 17 and 18.

Tigers had Lynch in 19.

Talk about no basis.
It was a stupid, baseless statement. Teams “are happy to” sit at the bottom of the ladder for extended periods to rebuild. To suggest it’s a matter of attitude is laughable. Some clubs have zero choice but to rebuild via the draft.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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The system is a joke because the salary cap is rubbery. And that's without even looking at third party deals.

If you allow clubs to sign players that are worth $1m a year when they don't have $1m of cap space available when the player is signed then what do you expect?

Taking Cameron as the latest example. If Geelong want to pay him $800k a year and have or make $800k available from 2021 then good for them. If the best they can offer next year is $500k then that should be the most they can offer. You can't make players accept more money elsewhere otherwise North would be in the midst of a dynasty instead of cutting dead wood so they can just overpay the players they have left because of the 95% salary cap floor.

Geelong or Richmond will win the flag. If you could get $1m a year on average to join one of the Grand Finalists or $1m a year to join North or Adelaide or whoever who might be good one day why would you join the latter?
 

NZ_Tiger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 30, 2011
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I’d like to see free agency eligibility drop to 5 years. There would be far more players available it couldn’t just end up at the top clubs. Everyone would get a chance as the trough would be much deeper.


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