Salary caps have been slashed ahead of a potential start to community football leagues around the state.
It has been recommended by the AFL that all leagues adopt a two-stage reduction to current allowable player payment (APP) levels for the 2020 season.
This recommendation was adopted by the Central Highlands Football League board on Wednesday night, while Ballarat league manager Shane Anwyl said his board hadn't yet met about it but backed the measures to aid club sustainability.
- stage one: a 50 per cent reduction on current APP caps for the 2020 season
- stage two: a further pro rata reduction based on the number of matches re-fixtured, relative to the original number of fixtured matches.
For example, where a competition has a $100,000 APP, that would be reduced to $50,000 under stage one reductions.
Then, if nine matches are re-fixtured from an original 18-match season (therefore a nine-match reduction), a further 50 per cent reduction to the reduced APP cap will be applied. This would result in a revised APP of $25,000 for the 2020 season.
The CHFL has a starting salary cap of $105,000 and the BFL $140,000.
THE AFL DOCUMENT SENT TO LEAGUES
"It is important to note that the APP caps are not an aspirational nor required spend and clubs are able to continue spending below the designated APP cap for their relevant competition," Andrew Dillon, the AFL general counsel/general manager - game development said in a statement.
"At this stage, due to the anticipated financial impact on community clubs for years to come, we are proposing that there will be a reduction in the APP that will be carried through into the 2021 season.
"This position will be reviewed and confirmed later in 2020, as the impact from COVID-19 becomes apparent.
"We understand that this is an uncertain time for everyone in our game, but we appreciate the football community working together to ensure our community clubs are sustainable into the future."
AFL Goldfields general manager Gerard Ryan reiterated that no club is required to pay players to the level of the cap.
"In these times which community football has never faced before, the sustainability of clubs is the primary focus to ensure that there are clubs in place still to ensure that community football is able to recover and continue to provide sporting opportunities for their members," Ryan said in an email to leagues.
"These changes to the APP in 2020 are aimed to make the task facing community clubs in coming months easier than it may have been if no action was taken."
- The full AFL statement to clubs, complete with frequently asked questions and answers, can be found at thecourier.com.au.