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Thread: COLA

  1. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    The 10% (or rather, 9.8%) was explicitly a cost of living allowance. In the early naughties, I think the allowance was up around 15%, and the Lions also had a smaller allowance. There was a retention component in those allowance (exclusively so for the Lions). After the Melbourne clubs became upset that the Lions won a threepeat, they lost their retention allowance and the Swans' allowance was reduced so that it became just to cover cost of living. Yes, the size of the amount is/was somewhat arbitrary.

    I've heard Maguire justify the removal of the Lions' retention allowance by the fact that they haven't won a threepeat since. Of course, that's ridiculous. It implies that their retention allowance was the sole reason they achieved a three-peat, and fails to acknowledge that since their allowance was removed, their success in even qualifying for the finals has been significantly below that which would be expected "on average". Not to mention the absence of any explanation as to how the Hawks achieved a threepeat, or the Cats won three premierships over six years (other than the fact these are well-run clubs - a repeat of the dumb hypocrisy).

    I confess I thought the replacement of the cost of living allowance with the rental allowance largely addressed the pure cost of living issues for players. I would have structured it differently - eg giving a fixed amount to every player, not just those on low wages. It doesn't help the Sydney clubs' position to argue for a percentage allowance for all equivalent to whatever the estimated cost of living differential is because, as many rightly point out, there becomes a point where cost of living takes up a relatively small part of income and so differentials are less relevant to the "equity" argument.

    I believe retention remains a bigger issue, though it mostly becomes apparent when a club isn't competitive. The Swans haven't suffered huge retention issues while they've been up, and the Lions' seem to have been alleviated for now. It remains hard to interpret the Giants' issues because they still have a list that is (IMO) the most talented on paper, and the salary cap is doing what it should be doing if they can't retain everyone. However, that doesn't mean they are not at a disadvantage when compared to clubs like Hawthorn and Geelong that have managed to keep together lists deep in talent in recent seasons.

    More broadly, the salary cap is a very fluid tool and not especially transparent when third party deals exist. Some of these are small and genuine - ie players actually do do additional work to earn additional income, though inequalities in access to such opportunities mean clubs aren't playing on the same level field. As a starting point, I'd love to see the AFL collate (and ideally publish) information at a club-aggregate level that show the total income earned by playing lists, including salary cap, AMA payments, third party payments and other income. At an aggregate level, it won't tell the whole story, but it might give some indication of just how unlevel the playing field is.
    Totally agree with you Liz. The AFL is incredibly lazy the way it has handled this. The blanket COLA was inequitous in the sense that it did allow an extra $1milion or so to be sent Buddy's way over the course of his contract and did not accurately represent the cost of living at all. A player on $150k would only get about 150k to cover expenses over a similar period. Whatever the figure is , it should represent the actual difference in cost of living and this exercise should be carried out across all of the states. For instance SA or WA are cheaper than Victoria an this should be taken into account. This should also then be balanced against the opportunities for 3rd part payments as well so that there is a national approach to the issue, rather than a bandaid afterthought that only applies to the northern states.

    At the moment the AFL seems to be slipping into the old corrupt ways of the VFL whereby certain clubs were gifted a blind eye to all sorts of rorts incuding bodgie jobs, cash payments and long term promises of money to name a few.

    Then there are the non-financial biases against all non-Victorian clubs that at least should be taken into account even if they are not all going to be addressed. Multiple flights to get to a game are a significant downside for remote clubs and of course the finals bias is huge.
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  2. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Scottee View Post
    Totally agree with you Liz. The AFL is incredibly lazy the way it has handled this. The blanket COLA was inequitous in the sense that it did allow an extra $1milion or so to be sent Buddy's way over the course of his contract and did not accurately represent the cost of living at all. A player on $150k would only get about 150k to cover expenses over a similar period. Whatever the figure is , it should represent the actual difference in cost of living and this exercise should be carried out across all of the states. For instance SA or WA are cheaper than Victoria an this should be taken into account. This should also then be balanced against the opportunities for 3rd part payments as well so that there is a national approach to the issue, rather than a bandaid afterthought that only applies to the northern states.

    At the moment the AFL seems to be slipping into the old corrupt ways of the VFL whereby certain clubs were gifted a blind eye to all sorts of rorts incuding bodgie jobs, cash payments and long term promises of money to name a few.

    Then there are the non-financial biases against all non-Victorian clubs that at least should be taken into account even if they are not all going to be addressed. Multiple flights to get to a game are a significant downside for remote clubs and of course the finals bias is huge.
    As long as the GF is at the MCG when a higher ranked non Vic team is participating, the competition is compromised. Long time I know but doesn't change the truth of it.

  3. #39
    Wide World of Sports on ch.9 will be raising the topping of the struggle of the four northern clubs in the next hour.

  4. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by S.S. Bleeder View Post
    Wide World of Sports on ch.9 will be raising the topping of the struggle of the four northern clubs in the next hour.
    Anyone from outside Victoria on the "expert panel" ?

  5. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by barry View Post
    Anyone from outside Victoria on the "expert panel" ?
    at best
    They might have a token non vic but it would still be 80-20

  6. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by barry View Post
    Anyone from outside Victoria on the "expert panel" ?
    Nick Davis and I think the rest were Sydney other than Woodbridge. Fortunately that lowlife Fitzsimons wasn't there today to make usual rude and arrogant comments. They didn't discuss it in much depth other than saying that the four presidents were going to raise it with the AFL.

  7. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    The argument made (by some) was along the lines:

    Luke Parker is worth $600k pa (because that's what another club would pay him)
    The Swans contract him on $545k pa, telling him that the additional 10% (of $545k) will bring him to a total salary of $600k - what they deem he is "worth".

    It's a nonsense argument for a few reasons. Firstly, all managers knew that the Swans got an extra allowance. So the final stage of recontracting negotiation were around tying down the precise amount, and the Swans tried to argue they'd pay him the same as the best offer from another club, the player's manager would be stupid to accept this.

    Of course, recontracting negotiations are never simply about deciding on the financial aspects. Players chose to stay at, or leave, clubs based on a whole range of factors. In general, players tend to want to stay where they are (most people are comfortable in their environments) and players who move clubs typically earn more than those who stay (players in high demand that it; not players moving for more opportunity). It's been widely discussed how players will often accept less than their "market value" to play at a strong club where they might achieve team success. And it's less overtly spoken about, but still acknowledged, that the shady world of "third party deals" and marketing payments can also materially affect the amounts players actually get paid.

    It's therefore literally impossible to demonstrate whether the club was or was not "misusing" the allowance. Indeed, it's a concept that doesn't even make much sense if you think about it. The only place where you could concretely look at salaries and determine whether the allowance was being used as intended was with players still on fixed contracts - ie those in their first two seasons. I would be flabbergasted if those players weren't explicitly receiving the additional allowance on top of their AFL-stipulated salaries. Indeed, if you were auditing the Swans use of the allowance (something the AFL did - and said they'd never found evidence of misuse), the very first place you would start would be to look at the contracts of those on AFL-stipulated salaries.

    The argument (of those who pushed it) was that "it is possible to do, therefore the Swans must be doing it". Some pointed to the Swans' strong performances as further evidence that they must be doing it, while describing clubs who had more success over the same period (primarily Geelong and Hawthorn) as being exceptionally well-run clubs who were able to manage their list brilliantly, and who had selfless players who put team success ahead of individual profit (ignoring the greater scope for external payments propping up said players' salaries than are generally available to those in the non-traditional AFL states).
    You summarised it well Liz. The bit in bold was what grated me most during the whole issue - that somehow we must be cheating, and couldn't possibly just also be exceptionally well run like those clubs. So very frustrating.

    More broadly - good to see it back on the agenda. Though if it does come back, I'd argue an option is to look at it across all clubs. Set a baseline of zero for whatever cities (I'd argue Melbourne and Adelaide perhaps), and then a factor above that for Perth/Brisbane/Sydney. Now we know Perth don't really need it as its footy mad over there with lots of opportunities - but we could kill the 'COLA unfair' argument in one go if it applied across the competition, taking into account other issues such as relative opportunities.


    If you want to see the fight that will be had against any such idea of a COLA like thing returning, you only have to look at some of the dribble in the comments on the Caroline Wilson article on the Age. The VFL boys club still has strong roots for so many 'fans' of the game. Love to take the money brought into the game from having an Australian wide comp, but would be happy to throw out the interstate clubs from non AFL heartland in a heartbeat. More than a few suggesting the way to fix the game is to go back to the VFL because it can 'stand on its own too feet'. Not sure what world they were living in during the 70/80/90s....

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by S.S. Bleeder View Post
    Nick Davis and I think the rest were Sydney other than Woodbridge. Fortunately that lowlife Fitzsimons wasn't there today to make usual rude and arrogant comments. They didn't discuss it in much depth other than saying that the four presidents were going to raise it with the AFL.
    To be frank, while Fitzsimmons is controversial, more often than not he has some well thought out ideas to throw in, including on the topic of AFL. There are a lot worse people out there then him.

    I know the real reason you don't like him, and it has nothing to do with sport.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottee View Post
    At the moment the AFL seems to be slipping into the old corrupt ways of the VFL whereby certain clubs were gifted a blind eye to all sorts of rorts incuding bodgie jobs, cash payments and long term promises of money to name a few.

    .
    Let alone the rort that the NGA will become in time. Basically a return to zoning that will be dominated by the 'blessed few'.
    "You get the feeling that like Monty Python's Black Knight, the Swans would regard amputation as merely a flesh wound."

  8. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by S.S. Bleeder View Post
    Nick Davis and I think the rest were Sydney other than Woodbridge. Fortunately that lowlife Fitzsimons wasn't there today to make usual rude and arrogant comments. They didn't discuss it in much depth other than saying that the four presidents were going to raise it with the AFL.
    Fitzsimons is a shallow commentator who attention seeks usually to the detriment of any discussion. All about him. Show pony. Think Todd Woodbridge is from Sydney, if that's who you were referring to.

  9. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Fever View Post
    Fitzsimons is a shallow commentator who attention seeks usually to the detriment of any discussion. All about him. Show pony. Think Todd Woodbridge is from Sydney, if that's who you were referring to.
    100% right about Fitzsimmons. Anyone who is willing to declare that Ned Kelly is a hero as opposed to a common crook and nurderer in order to sell a book has no integrity.

    Woodbridge grew up in Sydney but lives in Melbourne.
    Last edited by S.S. Bleeder; 31st July 2019 at 08:32 PM.

  10. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by S.S. Bleeder View Post
    100% right about Fitzsimmons. Anyone who is willing to declare that Ned Kelly is a hero as opposed to a common crook and nurderer in order to sell a book has no integrity.

    Woodbridge grew up in Sydney but lives in Melbourne.
    Oh dear.

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