The veteran coach says free agency will create a two-tiered competition.
Carlton coach Mick Malthouse has hit out at free agency in the AFL, saying it will create a tiered competition of haves and have-nots.
Malthouse predicted that players from middle-to-lower ranked teams would leave for premiership-contending clubs, resulting in a competition similar to the English Premier League which has had only three different winners in the past ten years.
“Free agency creates a two-tiered system,” Malthouse said.
“Make no mistake about it – free agency will only help the top sides.
“There’s going to be a rarity [for a free agent to go to] a bottom side because at that age players want to play in finals.
“If they look down the ladder and think, ‘I might be the next saviour but it’s going to be a long time, (they’ll decide) I’m not going there’.
“But players from down there will look up and think, ‘I’m a bit jack of being in the middle range and I can get a game for Hawthorn, Collingwood, Geelong or whatever because they’re near the top, that’s where I’m going’.”
Malthouse took aim at the AFL Players Association, saying the organisation didn’t understand the difficulties of building a list of retaining players.
“This is a simple case of the (AFLPA) not understanding the mechanics of how hard it is for football clubs to retain good footballers and have a chance to build up the ladder,” he said.
Carlton sit 14th on the AFL ladder and look extremely likely to miss the finals series.