Polaris

AFL OuterEastMedia Release | AFL Outer East remains committed to return in 2020, a position strongly shared by our clubs. The long-term sustainability of all clubs remains a priority and any return will only occur if feasible for the majority of clubs. The health and well being of its players, coaches, umpires, volunteers, and associated stakeholders remains a priority.


Recently a survey was sent to all Outer East clubs to help gauge their views on the current situation, with responses received from all clubs. Below is a detailed update of our position following club feedback.

The next AFL Outer East Commission meeting is in late April, where a detailed return plan will be finalised and presented to clubs for feedback on May 1st. Final announcements on season 2020 we expect following State Governments current Level 3 restriction date of May 11th.

SENIOR FOOTBALL AND NETBALL

There is a strong desire from clubs and Outer East to return playing football and netball this year. The well being and social benefits to players, supports and club members was the key reason provided by clubs in returning, a sentiment shared by the league.

The commission and clubs share the view that a return can only return if it is both financially and safe to do so. 75% of Senior clubs indicated they wish to return in 2020, with 21% unsure, depending on costs. 96% of clubs indicated they wish to return if costs are reduced.

Clubs were unanimous that a pre-season period be provided and utilising a round robin format for practice games should we return. Should current AFL Victoria restrictions be removed May 31st as currently is planned, a return of late June, early July is our preference.

Our preferred return structure will be provided May 1st for club consideration and feedback, with an announcement of competition and season structures following State Governments current Level 3 restriction date of May 11th.

The majority of clubs indicated that reserves and underage competitions remained important and they would be entering sides in these competitions. Provisions will be put in place for clubs unable to facilitate Reserves.

SALARY CAP

100% of clubs supported a reduction of the cap for season 2020, whilst 88% supported a further reduction from 2021 and beyond.

The AFL have recommended that all leagues adopt a two-stage reduction to current Allowable Player Payment for 2020. AFL Outer East supports this recommendation and will implement this in 2020.

(APP) caps for the 2020 season:

Stage one: a 50% reduction on current APP caps for the 2020 season
Stage two: a further Pro Rata reduction based on the number of matches re-fixtured, relative to the original number of fixtured matches.
Example: where a competition has a $100,000 APP, that would be reduced to $50,000 under stage one reductions. Further, if 9 matches are re-fixtured from an original 18 matches for the 2020 season (i.e. a 9 match reduction), a further 50 % (9/18) reduction to the reduced APP cap will be applied resulting in a revised APP of $25,000 for the 2020 season.
It is important to note that the APP caps are not an aspirational nor required spend, and clubs are able to continue spending below the designated APP cap for their relevant competition.

Revised caps will be advised in May once competition structures are confirmed.

The AFL has also advised that due to the anticipated financial impact on community clubs for years to come, they are proposing that there will be a reduction in the APP that will be carried through into the 2021 season. This position will be reviewed and confirmed later in 2020, as the impact from COVID-19 becomes apparent.

CLUB COSTS

Supporting clubs through a reduction in costs remains a priority for AFL Outer East. Clubs will be presented with a full break down of pro-rate calculated fee and changes, other proposed discounts, and savings over the coming weeks.

JUNIOR FOOTBALL

All Junior clubs support returning in 2020 and are in a position to do so. 72% clubs surveyed supported no or limited preseason for juniors, with a focus on returning to games the priority. Should current AFL Victoria restrictions be removed May 31st as currently is planned, a return mid-June is preferred.

Our preferred return structure will be provided May 1st for club consideration and feedback, with an announcement of competition and season structures following State Governments current Level 3 restriction date of May 11th.

AFL Outer East will look at a variety of measures to provide junior participants with the opportunity to play football this year, including mid-week night games in lieu of training (77% clubs supported this, with Wednesday and Friday) and lightning premierships/round robins in August September (86% clubs) if a full season cannot be played.

79% of Junior clubs have indicated that they would like a move to odd age groups in 2021, allowing players in the Under 16 and 18 age groups the opportunity to have a final year in top up age group (Under 17, 19) in 2021. Senior clubs are being consulted on this measure, with a decision announced in due course.

WOMENS & VETERANS

The Women’s & Veterans competitions will return in line with senior competitions. The dates & lengths of these seasons can be determined once start dates and restrictions are known.

EXTENDING INTO OCTOBER

90% of all clubs (junior and Senior) supported seasons being completed in October if required, which provides greater flexibility to start and complete a 10 round season as late as the first week of August. With venues available without Cricket pitches, we have the ability to facilitate this.