Our Sporting Life SA

A South Australian website publication that delivers a passionate and unique insight into SA Sport

Local Footy Salary Cap Reduction recommended by AFL

The AFL has put forward a recommendation to reduce the Community Football Leagues Salary Caps across Australia by 50% for the 2020 season and possibly beyond due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Victoria’s Geelong and District, Southern Football Netball League in Bendigo, Warrnambool and District, Hampden League, Portland League and Mininera South West League have already agreed to adopt the 50% reduction recommendation. However the Head of South Australian Community Football League Tom Hurley, has today said they are yet to decide either way. “There will be further and detailed consultation with clubs and affiliated leagues before any decision is made with respect to community football player payments,” Hurley told Our Sporting Life SA. “In South Australia there has already been significant change and important alignment with the state-wide introduction of the Community Football Player Payment Salary Cap in 2016, in that respect we are in a considerably different position to other states. There is no doubt most Community clubs will feel the impact financially from the Coronavirus pandemic. The SACFL Salary Cap payments for many people seem too generous, the wealthy clubs can pay well over $5,000 a week. Here’s an example: The weekly cap is set at $3,500 but the rules allow you to add a further $600 in weekly incentives $600 (max per player $150 - (progessive total $4,100) 21 after match player meals for a total of $630 = (progressive total $4,730) + superannuation + health insurance + income protection + travel $0.50 per km greater than 100km per round trip up to a maximum of $400 per player. Too much? Well the question remains, is it time to reduce the already generous payments in local football? The answer is set to be made soon with Hurley knowing they need to ensure the survival of clubs into the future. “That being said, as we understand and deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, broad consideration needs to be given to player payments to help ensure the survival and ongoing sustainability of community football clubs in 2020 and beyond. “I do note that the pre-existing structure of the weekly salary cap, introduced by SANFL in 2016, would in fact see clubs make savings based on less games being played in 2020 – that is not necessarily the case in other states.” Another huge talking point is the influx of Playing coaches being signed across SA local football leagues, this topic is set to be discussed in an upcoming review. Currently only $500 a week or $300 a week (for level 2 accredited) for a ‘Playing Coach’ has to be included inside the weekly salary Cap amount of $3,500. That gives any club the ability to take advantage and sign a playing coach for as much as $100,000 a season - or more, if they are a wealthy club! There is currently a record amount of 'Playing Coaches' in Community Football Leagues across South Australia and they've increased since the SACFL Salary Cap was introduced. In Victoria their playing coach payment scheme is completely different. Their guidelines for Player Payment Rules have 50% of playing coaches payments remaining inside the Player Payment Cap and all non-playing coaches payments remaining outside the APP cap. Hurley finished by saying that the SACFL Playing Coach payments will be discussed soon. “This (SACFL playing coach payments) will form part of the review and consultation process with clubs and affiliated leagues.”