Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Salary caps in 2022 to mirror 2021

- ~ Tyler Maher

Allowable player payment limits — more commonly known as salary caps — have been set for a number of AFL Goulburn Murray region’s leagues for the 2022 season.

A Community Club Sustainabi­lity Program working party endorsed the caps remaining the same for the 2022 campaign as what was initially set for the 2021 season.

The cap in Goulburn Valley League will be set at $125,000, Murray Football League will have a $100,000 limit and Picola District Football League a $90,000 cap.

‘‘It is appreciate­d that community leagues have co-operated in maintainin­g caps into the 2022 season in an uncertain time, despite some leagues and clubs having capacity to increase,’’ AFL GM commercial and operations manager Zara O’Keeffe said.

‘‘This is a display of unity amongst community leagues which puts the interests of the game and returning to play in 2022 as the highest priority and is much appreciate­d.’’

The AFL GM Commission is confident these caps will continue to remove much of the pressure and burden of fundraisin­g from the shoulders of already hard-working volunteers and will allow clubs to prepare for future seasons with greater financial viability and sustainabi­lity.

The commission also noted these figures were the upper limit of the total allowable player payments, with clubs able to make their own decisions within their budget constraint­s about their player payments being less than these caps.

‘‘Aligning with the objectives of the AFL Victoria APP policy, these limits will assist in clubs attracting and maintainin­g the interest of players, supporters, volunteers and sponsors and ensure that teams are as strong and as well matched financiall­y and on field as possible,’’ AFL GM Commission chairman Peter Foott said.

‘‘It is important that ‘stronger’ clubs do not obtain an unfair proportion of top players at the expense of other clubs, particular­ly following another season that has seen leagues and clubs hit with reduced home-and-away games and the cancellati­on of finals in many of our region’s leagues.

‘‘We are pleased that all leagues were prepared to maintain the same caps in 2022 following the reduction to caps in the region that was made following the COVID-19 impact.”

In the last completed season in the region — 2019 — the GVL ($175,000), MFL ($140,000), and PDFL ($105,000) all had higher caps before a collective reduction was agreed on once the 2020 campaign was cancelled.

The 2021 limits eventually finished much lower than the initial caps — with changes made for the recently scuppered campaigns to reflect the interrupte­d seasons.

This has significan­tly reduced the number of games each league was able to stage — and the allowable player payment limits of each have been adjusted to reflect that.

An amendment to an allowable player payment clause was adopted to read as follows:

Should a round or multiple rounds of fixtured matches be cancelled in a football league, the allowable player payments for a club in the relevant football league shall immediatel­y be recalculat­ed on a pro-rata basis of the revised fixtured matches for that season relative to a normal season of fixtured matches.

What this means is that each round in every league has been assigned a numeric value and the limit for 2021 has been reduced by the sum of that number multiplied by the amount of abandoned rounds.

The GVL completed 11 rounds this season. A usual campaign is 18 rounds, giving a pro-rata round value of $6944.44 — $125,000 divided by 18 — which can then be multiplied by seven to find the cap reduction for this year.

It puts the allowable player payment total for GVL clubs in 2021 at $76,388.92.

When the sums are completed for other thee competitio­ns, the MFL prorata limit finishes at $72,222.25 and the PDFNL at $70,000.

The PDFNL raised concerns about the consultati­on levels, timing and structure of the amendments.

‘‘The PDFNL is disappoint­ed that we were not consulted in any way about the salary cap reductions,’’ a spokespers­on said.

‘‘We think this decision was unnecessar­y given it took place well after clubs had signed contracts and announced after the June 30 transfer window.’’

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