Clubs could kick goals with points

A new statewide system confirmed by AFL Victoria will help target equalisation in football.

The Community Club Sustainability Program will place a limit on the amount of money each team can spend on player salaries and encourage player loyalty and junior development by introducing a points system.

AFL Victoria Community Football and Engagement Manager, Brett Connell said feedback from metropolitan leagues and region commissions indicated strong support for the program.

“The feedback was comprehensive and overwhelmingly supportive of a system that addresses equalisation concerns in community football,” he said.

A player points system will take a number of factors into account including population base, ladder position and previous player history.

Players who have competed in 40 junior matches for a single club will cost just one point and anyone who has played at AFL level in the previous three seasons will receive a maximum of six points.

BFL teams have been allocated 45 points for the 2016 season whilst CHFL teams will receive 42.

Additional points will be allocated to teams who didn’t qualify for finals in the previous year and a reduction will occur for teams who have won multiple premierships in a certain number of seasons.

Darley president, Grant Wright said he couldn’t find a fault in the point system.

“I think it’s all positive, as long as all teams receive points fairly then I think it is a fantastic thing for the league,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Player Salary Cap (PSC) will be introduced across all AFL Victoria Metropolitan Leagues and Regional Commissions for the 2017 season, with a pilot season in 2016.

Mr Connell said the policy would include enforcement provisions and an extensive education program outlining the roles and responsibilities of the clubs.

“The Working Party will continue to work with all stakeholders to achieve an outcome that will improve the sustainability of community football throughout Victoria,” he said.

Grant Wright said although the salary cap was a great way to enforce equalisation in the game, it was vital to have an equal playing field across all leagues.

“I’m hearing BFL leagues will have a cap of $140-150,000, but the metro sides are given up to $250,000. If that is the case it will make it near impossible for the eastern side to compete for players,” he said.

“If all the Melbourne sides have the same cap as us it won’t make a difference because everyone will have the same opportunity to field a really, really good side but if it is different we just wont be able to keep up”.

Meanwhile, Springbank senior coach Terry Simpson said the new sustainability program had a number of positive and negatives.

“The [salary cap] would make the competition more even and give young local players more chance of playing senior football. It makes them more valuable with the points system,” he said.

“However it may stop the league from getting stronger, there may be not as much interest from supporters and outside footy followers may loose players to work and other commitments”.

AFL Goldfields has determined that the PSC allocation for each league will be as follows, with expected adjusted totals for the 2017 and 2018 season also listed:

LEAGUE 2016 PSC 2017 PSC 2017 PSC
BALLARAT FNL $150,000 $140,000 $130,000
CENTRAL HIGHLANDS FNL $110,000 $105,000 $100,000

Breaches of the salary cap will result in penalties including fines, loss of points, suspension from finals and player suspensions.

First appeared in The Moorabool News, October 6 2015

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