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Quality players continue to depart SANFL

QUALITY PLAYERS CONTINUE TO DEPART SANFL

Since the 2021 SANFL season has finished the player departure gate has been swung off its hinges.

The quality of players leaving the competition should be enough reason for some sort of action to be taken.

Approximately just over 60 players that played League football this year have left the SANFL already and we still have the AFL draft to come.

Players like Magarey Medallists Mitch Grigg and Joel Cross along with Chris Curran, Angus Poole, Brad McKenzie, Lewis Hender and Alex Cailotto to name a few.

Even trying to replace all the departures and still attempting to attract quality players to the SANFL competition has become almost impossible.

From the approximate total of 330 players delisted from the AFL over 2018, 2019 and 2020, the SANFL competition has recruited just 45 players, with 35 of them either returning juniors or played SANFL before.

So that leaves just 10 ex-AFL listed players recruited to the competition in the last three years that had no previous SANFL connection.

Why can't we attract more AFL delisted players?

Post 2020, there were 129 AFL delistings with a small number re-rookied again, but why aren't more of those delistings coming to South Australia to play in the best State League competition?

The Salary Cap could be one of the factors.

The general feeling is that if the Salary Cap was lifted it would help retain and recruit a larger number of players and create an even better standard and quality of competition. The flow on effect could result in larger crowd numbers - with then more dollars through the gates - as they'll want to watch a higher standard of football

In 2019, the Salary Cap was $400,000, this year it was $210,000 a huge decrease and the semi professional player took a big hit.

But did you know some teams in the South Australian Community Football Leagues were allowed to spend more than an SANFL club when it came to the Player Salary Cap in 2021? Yes, that's correct and sustainable or not, it's baffling that the rules enabled some SA Community Football Clubs to spend over the SANFL Salary Cap of $210,000, so is the community football lifestyle more attractive to a player? An example below shows a team in Whyalla would be able to spend upwards of $231,000 in 2021 based on the updated Regulation 31. In 2021, the Community Football Salary Cap exemptions seem endless, things like Private Health Insurance, Meals, Apparel, Superannuation, Income Protection, Travel, Milestone Game Payments, Representative Football Payments and a Playing Coach payment. As per the Regulation 31, Community Football League teams are allowed to pay the following amounts for 2021- - $2,500 per match (including finals) - $20,000 for a Playing Coach (approximately $1,052 per week over 19 games) - $600 in Weekly Incentives (including finals) EXEMPTIONS ALSO INCLUDE: - $30 Per Player for After Match Meals - $0.50 per km for each km greater than 100km round trip for Match Day only. - Health Insurance - Income Protection - Superannuation (More examples below) The Essendon & District Football League in Victoria is arguably ranked in the top three Community Leagues in the state. In 2019, their Premier Division salary cap was $220,000, this year they dropped it back to $100,000 (54% decrease). With cuts of at least 50% in Victoria, the SANFL Community Clubs were only cut 28.57% (not including the exemptions and incentives) yet some other incentives and or exemptions still remained meaning some SA Community Clubs are still allowed to spend more than an SANFL club. The SA Community Football Salary Cap exemptions seem endless, things like Private Health Insurance, Meals, Apparel, Superannuation, Income Protection, Travel, Milestone Game Payments, Representative Football Payments and a Playing Coach payment. An example of an exemption is Private Health Insurance has to be included inside the SANFL Salary Cap but for SA Community Football Teams, it's an exemption! In Country Victoria, just about all of those above exemptions are included in their total player payment cap. .

Moving forward, is it too late to fix the issue of players leaving? SALARY CAP EXAMPLE FOR A COMMUNITY CLUB: In 2021, if we were to pick a football club 385kms away from Adelaide, let's say Whyalla for example. A team in Whyalla would be allowed to pay the following under regulation 31, plus other exemptions that are also not added in this example- - $2,500 per week (18 games + 3 finals) = $52,500.00 - $600 in incentives per week (21 matches) = $12,600.00 - Have a playing coach = $20,000.00 (yearly payment) - Have 10 players travelling from the City of Adelaide to Whyalla per match is $335 per player (770km round trip from Adelaide to Whyalla - 100km = 670km @ 0.50km - per player for ten players (4 points players and 6 former local players worth zero points) travelling from the City of Adelaide over 21 games = $70,350.00 - Private Health Insurance based on $2500 a year, per player, for 25 players = $62,500 - $30 per player for 22 players per week ($660 a week) in Meal Vouchers = $13,860 TOTAL ALLOWED SPEND = $231,810 (This is without Superannuation, Income Protection or Player Apparel which can also be added as an exemption) The exemptions seem quite significant and is the reason some clubs in 2021 were allowed to pay more than an SANFL State League club! Some more examples are here but also keep in mind if there are more locals (zero point players) travelling then the total amount will be more! RIVERLAND CLUB- - If we did the same calculations with a town 182kms away from Adelaide being perhaps Waikerie they could potentially pay upwards of $179,020 and this is without paying Superannuation, Income Protection or Player Apparel which can also be added. BAROSSA CLUB-- The same calculations could be done for a club in the Barossa and their total spend, let's use Nuriootpa for example. Under the same calculations they would have an allowed spend upwards of $159,830 and this again is without paying Superannuation, Income Protection or Player Apparel which can also be added. Using the same method as the Whyalla example, here are some examples of what some clubs would be allowed to pay under the current rules. PORT LINCOLN- Port Lincoln in the same calculations- $222,180 (based on 18 games) PENOLA- Penola upwards of $217,000 (based on 19 games)


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