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Thread: Poaching young players (espcially from struggling clubs)

  1. #1
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    Poaching young players (espcially from struggling clubs)

    We had some discussions about this recently, but I think all those posts are in the Swans' draft and list management thread, which isn't really where the conversation belongs. (But nor can I be bothered to go and find and extract all the applicable posts from that thread.)

    This is going to be an ongoing issue, mostly for the Northern Clubs and especially for those mired towards the bottom of the ladder.

    Are clubs already approaching Lukosius about Suns departure?

    Yes, it's just a rumour and, yes, it's SEN. But it also sounds highly plausible. If the AFL is serious about the game establishing a solid foundation in Queensland (and shoring up the solider foundations in NSW) it needs to act on this problem. NOW.

    I really think clubs who pursue young players who haven't earned the right to free agency need to be hit with a substantial - very substantial - salary cap tax on the amounts they pay those players. Maybe it could be a reducing scale, based on how many years the player has been in the system. But if a club is going to try and lure Lukosis (or Rankine, or similar) away from the Suns at the end of their initial two year contract, there has to be a big penalty. I'd make it 100% of the salary they pay if they lure them after just two years. And make them continue to bear that tax in their salary cap right up to the point where the player becomes a free agent.

    Anyone want to bet that the club (or one of the clubs) likely to be whispering in Lukosis's ear is Hawthorn, the club that has completely given up on drafting its own talent but believes it can eat out on its own self-perception as a "destination club" and pick off young players (while conveniently never having sufficient trade currency to properly compensate the club losing the player).

  2. #2
    Go Swannies! Site Admin Meg's Avatar
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    Completely agree Liz. Both the Suns and Brisbane need to be protected from these raids of young talent if the AFL wants to have a viable presence in Qld.

  3. #3
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    They clearly need a supplement to their salary cap to retain their players
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  4. #4
    AFL has made it clear by action, not words, that they do no have a problem with poaching young players from northern clubs.
    - Removal of cap extensions in Northern clubs making it more difficult to retain players.
    - Free agency and removing trade restrictions making player movement easier.
    - Giants being stripped of start-up incentives earlier than planned.

    Even the Lions being a basketcase for 10 years, and Suns going the same way has not wavered that view.

    Do not be confused by the pro-expansion agendas of former commissioners in Demetriou, and even Fitzpatrick. The organisation has changed tack since then.

    Only a change of regime will change direction.

  5. #5
    The article, Free agency: Bottom-four trend could hit Saints, Suns ( http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-12-1...it-saints-suns ) on the AFL's own website, only confirms the concerns expressed in earlier posts to this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    The article, Free agency: Bottom-four trend could hit Saints, Suns ( http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-12-1...it-saints-suns ) on the AFL's own website, only confirms the concerns expressed in earlier posts to this thread.
    Though free agency is here to stay, whether we like it or not. It isn't, and never was, an equalisation measure. It was a player demand. To some extent clubs only have themselves to blame if players don't want to stay after 7+ years at the club, though I acknowledge that it's harder for cellar dwelling or frontier clubs to persuade players to stay (let alone clubs who are both).

    Having given into the players' demand for free agency, there's little the AFL can do to affect the tide of free agent movements. That's why I think they need to focus on those players who haven't yet earned the right to free agency but who are behaving as if they are (and the clubs who encourage them to).

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    Very challenging to try to address- the NBA has a decent model that puts a lot of control with the team drafting a player- first 2 years are guaranteed, team owns an option on the third and fourth year. An issue, though, is the differences in salaries- a young first round draftee who is legitimately homesick in the NBA would have the money to be able to bring family or friends near to them, not so much for a similar player in the AFL.

    I like the idea of penalising a team who poaches players early with a salary cap penalty, it would certainly make teams think twice about the big cash offers. I wonder if you could also use that to prop up the club that has been poached from- so if you steal a player after 2 years, their salary counts as double against the cap for the life of the initial contract, and you effectively transfer a portion (or all?) of that extra 100% of salary from your cap over to the team the player came from.
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  8. #8
    The AFL is quite unbalanced at present. More than half of players drafted come from Victoria. Very few from the Northern States. This means that the Northern Clubs are vulnerable to players being prepared to go home for salaries below what they earn up north. This renders the salary cap ineffective. The Academies provide a potential source of some local talent but the vast majority of the list will remain from interstate. Gold Coast urgently need a player retention allowance due to their especially vulnerable state but the AFL is captive to the Melbourne clubs' opposition at present. The current situation is utopia for the powerful Melbourne Clubs. Paying unders for players allowing them to build up strong lists and poach the best talent from up north. Look at Richmond. Pick up a star from GC for a salary well below what he would have earned if he had stayed.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    We had some discussions about this recently, but I think all those posts are in the Swans' draft and list management thread, which isn't really where the conversation belongs. (But nor can I be bothered to go and find and extract all the applicable posts from that thread.)

    This is going to be an ongoing issue, mostly for the Northern Clubs and especially for those mired towards the bottom of the ladder.

    Are clubs already approaching Lukosius about Suns departure?

    Yes, it's just a rumour and, yes, it's SEN. But it also sounds highly plausible. If the AFL is serious about the game establishing a solid foundation in Queensland (and shoring up the solider foundations in NSW) it needs to act on this problem. NOW.

    I really think clubs who pursue young players who haven't earned the right to free agency need to be hit with a substantial - very substantial - salary cap tax on the amounts they pay those players. Maybe it could be a reducing scale, based on how many years the player has been in the system. But if a club is going to try and lure Lukosis (or Rankine, or similar) away from the Suns at the end of their initial two year contract, there has to be a big penalty. I'd make it 100% of the salary they pay if they lure them after just two years. And make them continue to bear that tax in their salary cap right up to the point where the player becomes a free agent.

    Anyone want to bet that the club (or one of the clubs) likely to be whispering in Lukosis's ear is Hawthorn, the club that has completely given up on drafting its own talent but believes it can eat out on its own self-perception as a "destination club" and pick off young players (while conveniently never having sufficient trade currency to properly compensate the club losing the player).
    Very well said Liz.
    Hawthorn's recruiting team are the laziest in the land. In fact they don't need them when they have Clarko personally paying a player a visit with two years to run on their contracts & pissing in their ears until they become an ordinary player for their current club because they have so much crap going on in their head. Wingard comes to mind.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Tunnel View Post
    Very well said Liz.
    Hawthorn's recruiting team are the laziest in the land. In fact they don't need them when they have Clarko personally paying a player a visit with two years to run on their contracts & pissing in their ears until they become an ordinary player for their current club because they have so much crap going on in their head. Wingard comes to mind.

    They unsentimentally cleared a huge amount of cap space in order to implement their strategy. Brutal but understandable. personally, I am not comfortable with it and wish them the worst of luck.

  11. #11
    I don't agree with penalising clubs for 'poaching' young players from struggler clubs although I do agree this is a problem.

    1. It is not illegal (although I understand the point is to change the rules to make it illegal).

    2. More pertinently, I think it is to difficult to implement and enforce.

    Instead, my suggestion is a staggered salary cap e.g. every place getter after 1st gets an extra $X on their salary cap (e.g. $100K so salary caps might be spread between, say, $11.1 and $12.8 m p.a.). Others' thoughts? How committed are we to equalising the comp? Has such an approach ever been tried elsewhere?

    While on the topic of salary caps, here is a link to an article written in 2015 by a Swans member about it: https://epublications.bond.edu.au/cg...1&context=slej.

  12. #12
    Here's a quote from another article about salary caps:

    There are many different levers that officials can pull but Free notes that salary caps, at their core, should be designed to achieve two things. First, to create competitiveness in a league and limit the capacity of a few financially strong clubs to woo all the best talent and thereby dominate engagement with fans and commercial backers. Second, to promote financial sustainability within the sport through the prevention of budget blowouts.

    https://www.businessthink.unsw.edu.a...ry-limits.aspx

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