Dimma’s value on the rise

Geelong Advertiser - - AFL - JON RALPH

RICH­MOND is ready to ne­go­ti­ate with premier­ship coach Damien Hard­wick on a lu­cra­tive con­tract ex­ten­sion.

But Rich­mond is lim­ited in the pay rise it can hand Hard­wick be­cause of the AFL’s foot­ball de­part­ment salary cap.

The AFL yes­ter­day con­firmed to News Corp that the cap for foot­ball ex­penses would re­main at $9.58 mil­lion, un­changed from 2017.

For­mer Tigers coach Danny Fraw­ley yes­ter­day pro­posed a mar­ket­ing ex­emp­tion for se­nior coaches which could see them earn­ing up to $2.5 mil­lion a year.

He said Hard­wick and Alas­tair Clark­son were woe­fully un­der­paid, with the Hawks aware they could not pay the four-time premier­ship coach his worth in his last ex­ten­sion.

Hard­wick has an­other year to run on his deal but the Tigers have made Hard­wick aware they are ready to dis­cuss an ex­ten­sion when he is ready.

He will meet with his man­age­ment early in the year, with a new deal tak­ing him past nine years at the club.

A two-year ex­ten­sion to 2020 would al­low him to pass Tommy Hafey’s 248 games coached and be­come Rich­mond’s long­est-serving coach in its dec­o­rated his­tory.

Clubs like Hawthorn and Rich­mond which pay most or all of the foot­ball de­part­ment cap have lit­tle wig­gle room to pay coaches more in the event of a premier­ship.

Mel­bourne could only af­ford to pay Paul Roos in ex­cess of $1.5 mil­lion a year be­cause it was a grow­ing club with space in its foot­ball cap.

Fraw­ley, the for­mer head of the AFL Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion, has no doubt the best coaches are sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­paid.

“There has got to be a mar­ket­ing com­po­nent in their salaries. These guys sell their clubs on much more than their coach­ing abil­ity,’’ he said.

“I know Alas­tair Clark­son adds so much to a club. He should get paid some of his con­tract out­side the soft cap.

“There are a whole range of in­cen­tives he should be able to profit from. On the open mar­ket a guy like Clark­son should be paid some­where in the vicin­ity of $2-$2.5 mil­lion.

“But be­cause of the cap he might be on $1.2 or $1.4 mil­lion.

“Damien Hard­wick and John Long­mire are no dif­fer­ent. I have no doubt Paul Roos was given a huge salary at Mel­bourne be­cause of the brand he brought.”

Coaches cus­tom­ar­ily have one-off premier­ship bonuses in their con­tracts start­ing at $100,000 and go­ing up to $250,000.

If a club wishes to pay over the cap they have to pay an ex­tra 75 cents on every dol­lar they spend as a tax, which means few have done so since the cap was in­tro­duced.

Coach­ing le­gend David Parkin dis­agrees coaches are un­der­paid, say­ing they are still well com­pen­sated.

“This is an old man’s view but it’s a priv­i­lege to be in the game, play­ing or coach­ing and they are ex­tremely well paid for what they do,’’ he said yes­ter­day.

“I coached at Carl­ton for 10 years from 1991-2000 and I was paid $200,000 a year whether we won flags or didn’t.

“If they are in it for money they shouldn’t be there.”

Pic­ture: YURI KOUZMIN

UN­DER­PAID: Tigers coach Damien Hard­wick de­serves more coin, ac­cord­ing to Danny Fraw­ley.

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