AFL BarwonMedia Release | Following a series of recent meetings involving the AFL and all State and Territory CEOs, and State football operations representatives, recommendations have been made in relation to salary caps and player payments in community football to help ensure the survival and ongoing sustainability of community football clubs in 2020 and beyond.

These recommendations have been made whilst considering feedback from various country and metropolitan leagues across the country.
These changes are part of a broader AFL industry response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to reduce Community Club costs in line with reduced revenues, to ensure the sustainability of our Community Clubs and our game into the future.

Following the AFL’s recommendation, AFL Barwon leagues, including the Geelong & District FL and Colac & District FNL will adopt a two-stage reduction to current Allowable Player Payment (APP) caps for the 2020 season after ratification from the AFL Barwon Commission:
• 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.

After applying both the stage one and stage two reductions:
• The maximum cap that will be endorsed by the CCSP Working Party Committee for the 2020 season will $50,000 for a competition.
• The minimum cap that will be endorsed by the CCSP Working Party for the 2020 season will be $10,000 for a competition.
• 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. Therefore, based on the above provisions, the below table outlines the new Salary Cap amounts, total reductions and total spend per round for all AFL Barwon Competitions, including netball.

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AFL Barwon Region General Manager, Will McGregor said “ through consultation with all club leaders, it is evident that these strong reductions will assist in clubs remaining viable and will be supported by the hard working volunteers that are finding it difficult to maintain incomes streams during this period”. McGregor also stated “this is an opportunity for a recalibration of football player payments across Regional and Metropolitan Victoria and also an opportunity for players to give back to their clubs that have given so much to them”

Colac & District FNL Chairman Peter Hickey endorsed the proposed changes and said that “The CDFNL fully support the reduction of player payments for our clubs in what is a tough situation for our community”.

Geelong & District FNL President, Neville Whitley said “The GDFNL believes that a salary cap adjustment is justified and therefore support the revised cap. All components of the leagues and clubs have to be revised during this difficult time”.

At this stage, due to the anticipated financial impact on community clubs for years to come, AFL Barwon are proposing that there will be a reduction in the Allowable Player Payments (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.

With the current restrictions in place by State and Federal Governments, we are unable to provide a further update on any season commencement dates. We are determined to provide Community Football and Netball to the region this year in some form. Our preference is for all Senior Competitions to play all teams once at a minimum, although we are not opposed to alternative options if this is not possible.

We understand that this is an uncertain time for everyone in our game, but we appreciate the Football and Netball Community working together to ensure our Community Clubs are sustainable into the future.