Monday, 1 September 2014

Why is the AFL system flawed?

Don't get me wrong I love VFL/AFL yet i am some what bemused by the Salary cap and also the free agency system as well. The system is supposed to encourage equity. It is also supposed to lift the sides that are regularly low on the ladder to become competitive and ultimately have their time in the sun. It doesn't seem to be working for teams like Melbourne. Teams like Sydney,Geelong and Hawthorn seem to have been able to retain position without having their time without success.Kudos to these clubs they have been well managed and have recruited and developed players better than their competitors.

Free agency our model seems to be a way for the player deprived of success to move to a better club to experience a shot at glory with a more successful team. Except in Buddy Franklin and Gary Abletts cases where they were enticed with life changing offers. The players cannot be blamed for taking opportunities when they arise as careers are generally not long the very best players 10-15 years with few exceptions.Why do we to protect the lower teams from the fallout of free agency. If allowed the strong clubs will use the lower clubs as development sites.Teams must be properly compensated for lost players.The system needs an arbiter to assess loss and compensate without recourse.

The system compels clubs to pay within the salary cap. In an 18 team competition the gap in talent between the best and the worst teams is substantial. The best team in the present season won 17 of 22 games with a 142%. The bottom side won 4 of 22 with a 60%. The gap is vast. The players from these 2 clubs must be payed at least 80% of the allowed cap up to 100%. You would hope that if the system is working the top side would be closer to 100% than the bottom side.This is not necessarily the case. Some clubs have back ended  contracts there are countless variables.

I believe the Salary cap should be altered to a performance based format. As the side slides down so will its player payments and visa versa. This would give the lowest club a kitty of money to buy players to improve its performance. The highest club would have less to spend on player recruitment. Players are not forced to move the best players still get the most money. They just don't get rewarded for mediocrity like players have been . Everyone is performance based.This system would see the best team earn more than its competitors incrementally down to the 18th club that would earn considerably less. It will motivate the worst to work harder.

I don't know what the perfect model is for fairness. I was pretty angry when my side was repeatedly missing the finals and the players were going through the motions. I can only imagine how the Melbourne fans feel.