Kyabram Free Press



Allowable player payment limits — more commonly known as salary caps — have been set for the 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.

"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 cap for the Goulburn Valley League will be set at $125,000, Murray Football League will have a $100,000 limit, Picola District Football League a $90,000 cap and Kyabram District League will have a $75,000 ceiling.

"AFL Goulburn Murray wish to thank all the leagues for their feedback and support during this process," O’keeffe said.

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 made note that 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 chair 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.

In the last completed season in the region — 2019 — the GVL ($175,000), MFL ($140,000), PDFL ($105,000) and KDL ($85,000) 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.

While the Kyabram District League is still holding out hope of staging knockout matches, it and the other three competitio­ns were forced to call an early end to the home and away campaign.

Along with numerous interrupti­ons throughout the year, 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.

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