AFL players pushing for big payday

AFL players are continuing their push for a percentage of the game’s overall revenue, with chief executive Gillon McLachlan saying they will be fairly rewarded.

Following a meeting of the club chief executives in Melbourne on Thursday McLachlan confirmed the Collective Bargaining Agreement was on the agenda with the AFL Players’ Association seeking a lucrative new pay deal when it kicks in on November 1.

McLachlan said he hoped the agreement could be concluded by July.

He refused to go into details of the proposal or the response from club bosses but said the players’ main demand was the percentage payment.

“Clearly the players are keen for a percentage of revenue, that’s the significant one … it’s not appropriate for me to talk about that other than to confirm what their key demand is,” McLachlan said.

He said the outcome for AFL players would be fair.

“Wherever we get to, the players are an incredibly important part of our competition,” McLachlan said.

“As we roll out our investment model there will be a very fair outcome for our players.

“We made good progress and we’d like to bring all of this together by June-July.”

The competition boss said the meeting also addressed the proposed Women’s Football League, which is due to kick off early next year, in detail.

He said the main discussion point was whether there would be eight or 10 teams, with valid arguments for both.

Thirteen AFL clubs have applied to be part of the competition.

“It’s a line ball (decision),” he said.

“Ten means a broader cross section of clubs and more shoulders behind the wheel, and at eight the depth of talent is more significant so that’s the debate with no particular leaning at this stage.

“We need to make sure we have a distribution of talent so in the first year everyone is competitive.”

Meanwhile, McLachlan said he had spoken to Greater Western Sydney following the AFL decision that it wouldn’t allow the club priority access to pick academy prospect Todd Marshall.

The Giants’ expansive academy region in the Riverina has come under criticism from a number of clubs who feel they have been gifted a strong talent area in the Riverina region.

McLachlan said there was no talk of the matter by the other AFL clubs at the meeting and that the Giants had accepted the decision.

“There will no change in the boundaries this year but what we will be doing is reinforcing the rules and clearly what happened with the boy Marshall was the enforcement of the rules.

“We had good dialogue with the Giants and they’ve accepted that.”

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