Thursday, 28 July 2005 By Rufus_ReidAFL Club presidents and AFL commissioners attended an extraordinary meeting last night with the view of resolving issues relating to the salary cap concessions given to the Sydney Swans and the Brisbane Lions Football Clubs. Millions of dollars in concessions have been granted to the Brisbane and Sydney teams over the past decade allowing them to buy and pay players well above the restrictions placed on Victorian based AFL clubs.
The multi million dollar concessions were originally granted to the Northern based clubs as a type of 'living away from home' allowance however cynics have suggested the benefits were granted to help prop up the struggling Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans football clubs in an effort to promote interest in the game in NSW and Queensland.
Eddie McGuire has been a strong advocate against the player payment concessions for several years suggesting it was akin to making Victorian clubs play with one hand ties behind their backs.
The fact that the Brisbane Lions have won three consecutive premierships and are poising for a fourth has raised the ire of Victorian based clubs and with the 2005 final series looming the Victorian Club presidents had escalated priority of a suitable review on the issue.
"Last night's meeting was very fruitful" said a spokesman for a Melbourne based AFL club.
"Everyone put their cards on the table and a positive outcome was agreed upon which we think will make everyone happy. The main concern was the restriction of trade and unfairness in workplace salary equity. The changes to the concessions for the Northern Clubs will allow for a more tranparent take on the situation. No longer will the AFL commission have to duck and weave on the reasoning of the cap benefits"
A press conference is scheduled for three o'clock this afternoon where Andrew Demetriou will announce that the salary cap concessions for the Brisbane and Sydney teams will cease in 2006.
"From 2006 the Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans will instead be awarded 1 goal to their score 'before' the siren sounds for each quarter" the source said.