RELATIONSHIPS between players and clubs could be significantly tested in 2021 after AFL Goulburn Murray announced significant cuts to salary caps for next season.
The Goulburn Valley and Murray leagues have both had its Allowable Player Payments (APP) reduced by 29 per cent to $125,000 and $100,000 respectively.
Meanwhile the Picola District League’s cap has been cut to $90,000 – a reduction of 14 per cent – while the Kyabram District League’s maximum spend per club now sits at $75,000 – down 12 per cent.
AFLGM commission chairman Peter Foott said the changes were a result of clubs being unable to raise funds in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Aligning with the objectives of the AFL Victoria Allowable Player Payments policy, these limits will assist clubs to attract and maintain players, supporters, volunteers and sponsors,” Foott said.
“This will ensure teams are, as far as possible, strong and well matched financially on and off the field. It is important ‘stronger’ clubs do not obtain an unfair proportion of top players at the expense of other clubs.”
Despite the reductions, GVL chairman David Roff said he was hopeful the changes would allow teams across his competition to continue improving.
“The 2020 non season has been a significant challenge and although we are not yet sure what 2021 will look like, a reduction in the salary cap in 2021 will assist clubs to improve their sustainability,” he said.
“The realignment of salary caps between metropolitan and non-metropolitan leagues will also make clubs in the Goulburn Valley League relatively more attractive to players who may wish to enjoy high standard of quality football.”
Meanwhile, officials representing the AFLGM’s affiliated competitions agreed the decisions made would help ensure the future of clubs across the region.
PDFNL president Denis Brooks said the league was “more than happy to play its role in reducing the pressure on our country communities and supports the reductions in salary caps for all football competitions throughout Victoria".
“We are acutely aware of the ongoing difficulties facing our community partners and hope we can assist them as we all emerge in partnership with these businesses from the current restrictions,” Brooks said.
And Murray Football Netball League president Julie Walsh held a similar view to Brooks.
“The MFNL is all about our clubs and communities and ensuring our clubs can continue to be strong,” she said.
“It is good to see movement toward a sustainable approach that is unified across the state and has a long-term application.”
Clubs do not have to spend the maximum amount indicated by AFLGM.
The Heathcote District League sent its proposed cap for 2021 to the state's governing body earlier this month.
Salary cap changes
GVL: 2020 - $175,000. 2021 - $125,000.
MFNL: 2020 - $140,000. 2021 - $100,000.
PDFNL: 2020 - $105,000. 2021 - $90,000.
KDFNL: 2020 - $85,000. 2021 - $75,000.
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