Fans Industry

CBA — Frequently Asked Questions

What’s new about this deal?

The players’ salaries will be tied to the game’s revenue for the first time in the history of Australian football. Players will be paid a percentage of forecast revenue and a percentage of AFL and club un-forecast revenue.

Why did the players want this change?

The players wanted to be recognised for the contribution they make to the industry with a share in any extra revenue they help generate. The players believe that a model where they are incentivised to grow the product is the best thing for game in the long term.

How does this work?

In 2017, players are guaranteed 28% of projected industry revenue (AFL plus club revenue minus agreed exclusions) and will receive an additional share of un-forecast revenues from both the AFL and clubs.


Any additional payment is made into the Players’ Retirement Account after years three and six of this CBA. If there’s any money owing to players through this mechanism, every player will receive a benefit from this.

How does this impact the club’s salary cap?

The salary cap for 2017 has now been set at $12.45 million. This represents an increase of 20% on 2016. Increases to TPP of 1.2%, 1.3%, 2%, 2% and 2% will follow in 2018-2022.

Will every player benefit from the deal?

Yes. While not every player in the competition will have an uplift clause that will make them eligible for the increase to total player payments, every player will benefit financially from this CBA. Players with an uplift clause will automatically receive an increase to their salaries, while some clubs may need to re-structure contracts to pay the minimum 95 per cent of the expanded salary cap. Further to this, contributions into the Player Retirement Scheme will increase by 5.6 per cent, benefiting every player including rookies.

Where does the money go?

The players’ percentage share of revenue will fund everything paid to AFL players and the AFL Players’ Association.

This includes:

  • Total Player Payments (including rookies)
  • Additional Service Agreements (ASAs)
  • AFLPA programs and services, including player development and welfare
  • Past players
  • Player Retirement Scheme
  • Lifetime Health Cover and Career-Ending Injury payments
  • Allowances (prize money, COLA, relation expenses)

What else does the CBA cover?

The AFLPA has achieved a number of outcomes outside the payment model and some of these include:

  • Significant increases to all prescribed minimum and Rookie contract values
  • Industry aligned Player Development Strategy and Governance Model
  • A modernised injury payments model including career ending injuries and more money into concussion research
  • 12 business class flights for WA-based teams for each trip to the East Coast
  • Single room upgrades to sit outside soft cap
  • Players no longer required to contribute payment to pre-season camps
  • Eight grand final tickets available for each participating player
  • Better leave arrangements
  • Payments for traveling emergencies
  • Improvements to Free Agency
  • Greater support for Indigenous and Multicultural players

How will list structure change under this deal?

The rookie list will remain, but Category-A rookies will be available for senior selection and paid at an increased rate. By 2018, rookies will be paid up to 33% more than rookies were paid in 2016. Clubs must have a list of 44 players (primary and Category-A rookies), with between 38 and 40 primary listed players and a maximum of six Category-A rookies. Combining primary-listed players (38-40), Category-A rookies (4-6) and Category-B rookies (0-3), clubs can have no more than 47 on their list.


What impact does the delay have?

As the previous CBA remained in effect after it expired on October 31 last year, the delay has very little impact. Players on base wages (Eg. first and second-year players and rookies) and those with an uplift clause will be back paid to ensure they capture the updated terms and conditions in 2017.

Are there any changes to free agency?

The current free agency qualification periods will remain, however, the AFL has agreed to implement one of three proposed changes within by October:

  • Portable free agency
  • Free agency for life
  • Restricted free agency for players with four years of service under the median salary

A clause has also been altered to allow players to qualify for unrestricted free agency with greater ease. Previously, for a player to qualify for unrestricted free agency he needed to have played 10 years at a club and entered into a new contract in the past two years. This served as a deterrent for players to sign long-term contracts.

How long is the deal?

This CBA will run six years, from the start of this year, until the end of the 2022 season. This is consistent with the length of the current TV broadcast agreement.

What’s in it for the fans?

Through this partnership model the players are incentivised to work with the AFL to grow the game. In this CBA the players have also signed over the use of selected GPS data to enhance the broadcast coverage of the game. The players will approach the next six years with an open mind as to how they can innovate and explore new ways to make the game better for all.

What about AFLW players?

The AFLW terms and conditions were handled separately due to the timing of this negotiation and the launch date of the women’s competition. The AFLPA and the AFL agreed on two-year standard player and ambassador contracts for AFLW players that covers the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Male players won’t share in revenue generated by the AFLW competition in this CBA.