AFL on verge of announcing new pay deal
AFL on verge of announcing new pay deal

The AFL is set to announce its long-awaited collective bargaining agreement with the players before the annual Hall Of Fame ceremony.

Several media outlets reported that the league will confirm the new six-year deal ahead of the Tuesday night dinner in Adelaide.

The most striking feature of the new CBA should be a whopping 20 per cent increase this year, meaning major pay increases for some players.

It would also mean several clubs will have much more money in their war chests to pursue star players who are about to come out off contract.

But it remains unclear what the AFL will do with free agency, with chief executive Gillon McLachlan confirming last month that the league has looked at several proposed changes.

One potential new element is a player earns lifetime free agency if he has been at the same club for eight years.

McLachlan has said for several weeks that the AFL and the players association are moving closer to finalising the deal.

There was speculation in the pre-season that players might stage some sort of protest as the drawn-out pay talks appeared to make little progress.

In early February, Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury said if the players association had asked, he would have had no hesitation in sitting out a quarter in a pre-season match.

But the mood between the two parties improved considerably in the following weeks and it became clear it was a matter of when, not if, a deal would be reached.

AAP

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