Spoils of the game needed to be divided up better says union.
The AFL players’ association is worried for the future of the game saying the difference between the rich and poor could threaten the very fabric of the game.
Ahead of a meeting between clubs and the players’ association this week, the Geelong Cats have made a submission to the AFL outlining their concerns for the future of the game.
AFL Players’ Association chief Matt Finnis confirmed the union would not rule out withdrawing support for the national draft and salary cap if certain issues were not addressed.
Finnis said the Cats’ proposal spoke up for what many in the game knew and loathed for many years, that being rich teams achieve success leaving others in their wake.
“Basically, Geelong put in black and white what other clubs and the AFL know full well – that the game has been very reliant on player-based restraints to promote an even competition over the past 20 years,” Finnis is quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.
“But if these measures are no longer achieving their desired outcome then it is incumbent on the AFL Commission to consider other mechanisms to balance the game.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing a growing divide in the competition between clubs.
“The gap in resources is growing and clubs spending more in football are getting better results on-field.
“This trend has increased in the past five years and is going to continue unless we do something about it.”
One of the main concerns is young players being drafted to poor clubs and not experiencing the same level of success as others that enter the league in the same rookie season.
North Melbourne’s Jack Ziebell was taken at number nine by the Kangaroos in the 2008 draft while TAC Cup teammate Steele Sidebottom became destined for Collingwood.
Since then the Magpie has been a regular in the finals series and has won a premiership, while Ziebell’s lone post-season appearance in four years came last season when they were pummeled by West Coast in the first round.