The AFL and the AFLPA announced on June 20th that a new six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will deliver to players a package of $1.84 billion, inclusive of player wages, investments in player development, the Player Retirement Scheme, injury and hardship support, marketing activities and past players.
Total Player Payments will increase by 20 per cent in 2017, to $12.45 million per club ($224m in total), with increases of 1.2%, 1.3%, 2%, 2%, 2% in years 2018-2022. players will earn 28 percent of forecast defined football revenue and benefit from a review mechanism that captures a share of additional AFL and club revenue. Players will receive 28% of AFL revenues and 11.2% of club revenues above forecasts.
Some revenue streams have been excluded from ‘defined football revenue’, including bequests and donations, government grants, non-football revenues and AFLW revenue. The parties have also agreed to exclude all revenue generated by the AFL through Etihad Stadium for the life of this CBA, to the extent such revenue is used to repay the AFL’s loan on the venue. Gaming revenue has not been included either.
The minimum rookie wage will increase to $71,500 in 2017, while the minimum wage for a first round draft pick will rise to $88,193 in 2017. The minimum salary for players beyond their second season has been set at $100,000.
There will be a 3% increase to Additional Service Agreements (ASAs) in every year of the deal (3.8% in year one).
The average AFL player wage jumps $60,000 from $309,000 last year to $371,000, up to $389,000 in year 6. The salary cap increases from $10.37 million per club to $12.4 million in 207, up to 13.54 million in 2022.
Any additional revenue earned under the review mechanism will be paid into the players’ retirement accounts at years three and six of the agreement. This comes in addition to an extra $6 million of funding into player retirement accounts over the six years (now $15m per year).
For players to immediately share in the spoils, they will need a clause in their current contracts enabling them to get the rise. Marsh said only 50 per cent of players had this clause.
Other specific key outcomes from the new CBA:
- Annual contribution of $4 million to the AFL Players’ Association’s Lifetime Health Care and Career Ending Injury fund
- Annual contribution of $250,000 for concussion research, inclusive of all tribunal fines
- $13 million over the life of the CBA to fund Industry-aligned Player Development programs and services
- 12 business class airfares per flight for WA-based teams when doing east/west travel
- Business class or premium economy airfares on international flights other than New Zealand
- Cost of single room accommodation has been removed from the clubs’ soft caps
- Removal of provision allowing players to contribute to cost of pre-season camps
- Eight grand final tickets for participating players
- 1000 tickets for distribution amongst players
- Category-A rookie-listed players will be eligible to play senior football from 2018
- Players no longer need to be restricted free agents before becoming unrestricted
- At least one additional free agency provision to be adopted by October 2017, from the following — Free agency for life, free agency portability, restricted free agency at four years for any players under median salary or such other change proposed by AFL and agreed by AFLPA
- Pre-season mini-breaks will increase from three to four days
- ‘Rested’ players or ‘held over’ travelling emergencies let out of their senior team will receive match payments
- Players agree to license their personal GPS data to be made available to clubs and broadcasters with specified limitations
- Players get 20 per cent pay rise in new CBA (AFL.com.au)
Travel upgrade for WA clubs under new CBA (AFL.com.au)
Free agency to change under new agreement (AFL.com.au)
- AFL players land new pay deal after agreement (news.com.au)
- AFL players win big with 20 per cent pay increase (The West Australian)
- AFL clubs poised to splurge on stars after new collective bargaining agreement reached (The Age)
- AFL players agree to $1.84b six-year pay deal (ABC.net.au)
- AFL pay deal: What’s it all about? (ABC.net.au)
- CBA deal means players will share in record windfall (The Australian)