PLAYERS threatening to strike over the AFL and their new CBA. Sounds like a scene from the 1980 movie, The Club. But players saying if they weren’t out there, the 1.25 million TV rights deal wouldn’t exist. When in reality if the clubs and supporters didn’t turn up each week, the players would be playing the game they claim to love and they definitely would be getting their 27%.
The AFL needs to spend the 1.25 million wisely as the Media rights deal, could set up the future of the sport and the AFL has the opportunity to become the true Australian sport dominating the sports market country wide, not just in the AFL heartlands of Victoria, Northern Territory, Tasmania, South and Western Australia. The first step has been taken with GC17 and Team GWS being established. Now with Gold Coast challenging clubs like Geelong and the Western Bulldogs, both preliminary finalists from the past 3 years, Geelong in the past 4 along with the 2 flags, are a great step forward into becoming the truly national sport.
The AFL’s next step must be to get rid of debt from clubs. Imagine the newly developed Adelaide Oval packed to the rafters when the debt free, competitive Power take on the already dominating Crows or even the North Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, with both clubs being debt free and having a high membership rate, unlike being down the lower ends of the membership tally to clubs like Collingwood and Carlton. Making existing clubs competitive should be on the agenda for the spending of the AFL’s media rights deal money.
The AFL as said have already taken the best step, by investing into the Rugby heart land in the Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney, Yet the AFL is neglecting to invest into the fastest growing region in Australia, Melbourne’s West. The answer isn’t to introduce the Sunshine Rays or the Caroline Springs Cheetahs, but greater funding for the Western Bulldogs to set up community based programs in the region.
Eddie McGuire said it best on his breakfast radio show when he said “If we lose Melbourne’s west, to soccer or rugby, we are in trouble”. The Western Bulldogs already run some of the best community based programs in the country, yet with the extra funding, the Western Bulldogs would gain membership and “bulldoze the debt”, Which should have already been a goal for the AFL when spending the 1.25 million.
The AFL need to spend the gold mine they are sitting on to the best they can to set up the future of our great game. Just think, if they do remove the debt, gain members then the extract revenue will come into the game and then the players can have their 27%, which will be more than the 27% of the revenue that currently exist.
By: Andrew Moore