AFL and players reach historic $2.2 billion pay agreement, benefiting women’s players and first-round draftees.
The AFL has recently reached a groundbreaking pay agreement with players, amounting to a whopping $2.2 billion. This deal encompasses both men’s and women’s players, marking the first time a single CBA (collective bargaining agreement) has covered both AFL and AFLW players. The agreement includes substantial wage increases for women’s players and extended contracts for first-round draftees in the men’s competition.
The average salary for AFLW players will rise to $82,000 by 2027, underlining the commitment to providing equitable pay and opportunities for women in the sport. On the other hand, the average salary in the men’s competition is projected to reach $519,000 by the conclusion of the agreement.
Furthermore, there are plans to enhance the AFLW season by increasing the number of matches to 12 in 2025. Additionally, first-round draftees in the men’s competition will see their contracts extended to three years.
Looking ahead, discussions will continue regarding a men’s mid-season draft, demonstrating the AFL’s commitment to exploring new avenues for player recruitment and development.
The comprehensive CBA has been widely regarded as a triumph for the sport, providing stability and financial security for both men and women players. Furthermore, it aims to foster the growth of the women’s competition by expanding crowds and televising matches to a wider audience.
The impact of this agreement is particularly significant for women’s footballers, as AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan emphasises. This landmark deal not only ensures certainty for the players in both competitions but also acknowledges the importance of promoting and nurturing women’s football.
In addition to the financial aspects, the AFL past players’ injury and hardship fund will receive a substantial injection of $60 million throughout the agreement, providing essential support for players facing difficulties.
The CBA also foresees an increase in five-day breaks between men’s matches and an expansion of Thursday night matches, thereby enhancing the scheduling and viewing experience for fans.