Usually when I open my paper in the morning, I intend not to spray coffee everywhere. But a few weeks ago, the AFL Players Association caused me to convulse with such a visceral reaction without fail.
These are their recent demands, which are extremely entertaining. Now excuse the smug and condescending tone, because there’s no other way I could convey such nonsense.
” As Collingwood struggles to accommodate Travis Cloke’s massive pay demands, the AFL player union says the league’s salary cap – introduced in 1985 – could soon be past its use-by date.
A luxury tax is employed in the US where teams such as the LA Lakers in basketball and New York Yankees in baseball are permitted to spend extra money on their stars.
Some player agents are also pushing for a new “marquee player” rule, which would see the wage of one player at every club excluded from the cap, and full disclosure of all player salaries.”
I don’t know even where to start here.
The entire basis and ethos that our game was created on was one of equality and fairness. In reality, yes, there are more affluent clubs than others, but the competition is seen to be fair overall. Teams can rise one year and fall the next, regardless of how much money they have. Did the AFLPA not take into consideration that you could pay the tax years on end, but just end up winning some of it back? Having the best team money can afford has its perks.
Also, the knowledge of who is being paid what is excess. It caters to this sick voyeurism that the public gets in doses by following AFL players on Twitter. The sort of money someone is making is the business of the employer and employee alone.
Regardless of this latest yammering, it only adds to the growing wish list of AFLPA demands. Whilst I uphold and value of such an organisation for defending the rights of players and looking out for their welfare, it is now bordering on excess and greed.
Early in the season, it seemed that a general consensus was formed that players have been overworked and the season is too long. They also have demanded for increased lists and improved medical facilities. These demands I have no issue with and I support.
However, when you juxtapose those with the ones of allowing higher spending on player salaries, that’s where the rationalist in me seems to tick over. If it’s any profession that deserves more money for less work, it’s defiantly not an AFL footballer.
This outright chase of wealth was highlighted no greater in last year’s standoff with the AFL over the use of the funds from landmark $1bil rights deal. The footage of AFL players from all clubs congregating inside the empty ballroom in Crown Casino to get more piece of the pie, smacks of self-indulgence and selfishness of the highest order.
To put on a football jumper is a reward in itself. It may take the hard work that you are paid handsomely for already (the average footballer makes five times the average Australian wage), but it is more than enough to compensate you for your troubles.
The one-way street is paved with a stark reality. I see no suggestions that they do numerous press conferences or have more media commitments like the American sports that they enjoy comparing ours to. The AFLPA has no interest in the game or its integrity, only the pay packet of its members.
It’s a tragedy in itself that those who play the game have completely lost sight of its true values and how lucky they are.
Our only hope is that the AFL does not submit to the demands of the ambitions and gluttony of the Players Association.