Eagles boss pleads cost case
Eagles boss pleads cost case

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett has urged the AFL to extend the contentious cost-of-living allowance (COLA) to all interstate rookies and first-to-third year players.

League heavyweights are weighing up whether to continue allocating an extra 9.8 per cent allowance to Sydney and Greater Western Sydney in their salary caps as part of a wider review of equalisation measures.

Nisbett said his club would again ask the AFL Commission to install an allowance for young players who moved States to launch their careers.

Two of West Coast's six draftees from last year, Malcolm Karpany and rookie Will Maginness, hail from outside WA. Nisbett said those players deserved a salary allowance of up to 10 per cent to help them out early in their careers.

"It's not such a disadvantage with the guys that are earning good money, but it's really difficult for some of the younger players," Nisbett said.

"We think, and have done for a while, that there should be some compensation. I think that's all in the mix of this competitive balance fund the AFL are looking at.

"Hopefully there'll be some compensation for us in that, but if there's not we'll keep pushing it."

The COLA afforded to the Swans has drawn a raft of critics, with the 2012 premiers having successfully used the extra $900,000 to lure star forwards Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett to the club over the past 15 months.

WA's two AFL clubs have been among those to cry foul, particularly with a renowned cost-of- living index last year rating Perth as Australia's most expensive city and the 11th priciest to live in throughout the world.

Nisbett said West Coast had revisited the proposal with league bosses.

The matter is with AFL investigations manager Ken Wood and will be raised at next month's meeting of AFL presidents from all 18 clubs.

"Sydney argues that rentals are higher, they are tougher to get hold of," Nisbett said.

"Well, they're tough to get here. It's probably on a par, but that hasn't resonated through to us getting a result."

The minimum rookie salary for 2014 is $54,000.

Fremantle president Steve Harris made his stance clear in praising his club's "independent" ethos at Thursday's season launch.

"At a time when club financial equalisation, subsidies and handouts are topical in the AFL and in business, we can proud of a club that was established in hardship and a club which has grown to become strong, independent and in control of its own destiny," he said.

The AFL Players' Association has submitted its own proposal asking for clubs to have more flexibility over how much they spend on their playing lists.

The body has called for a single cap to be imposed on football department spending, with individual clubs able to decide what proportion goes towards players.

AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said any changes to cost of living, veteran allowances and rookie payments were being discussed.

"Sydney argues that rentals are higher, they are tougher to get ... Well, they're tough to get here.""West Coast chief executive *Trevor Nisbett *

The West Australian

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