Dimma’s value on the rise
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.”
UNDERPAID: Tigers coach Damien Hardwick deserves more coin, according to Danny Frawley.