Alumni Default

Players entitled to a fixed share: Cornes

Port Adelaide premiership midfielder Kane Cornes has called on the AFL to acknowledge that its players are entitled to a fixed share of the league’s revenue.

Cornes, who played a club-record 300 games for Port between 2001-15, wrote a column in the Adelaide Advertiser in which he argued the AFL had become a huge industry and that it was ”the players who make the spectacle”.
”Without them there is no show … and no fans and no multi-billion-dollar broadcast deal to underwrite the league, the clubs and the game beyond the AFL,” Cornes wrote.
”Without the players there is no AFL industry generating opportunity for others, both inside the game and outside by tourism and catering and at those tax-payer built venues such as Adelaide Oval.”

Cornes wrote that ”the 800 AFL players will not back down in their push to get a fixed percentage – certainly no less than 25 per cent – of the AFL’s total revenue, if they can even find out what that total figure is. And they are entitled to such a share.

“The players will not back down in their push to get a fixed percentage of the AFL’s total revenue – if they can even find out what that total figure is.”  –  KANE CORNES

In 2002, the AFL players collectively received around 26 per cent of the league’s declared revenue, but that share has been on a steady decline. In 2015, the players shared in only 21.2% of the AFL revenue streams the players’ union could discover – but their role in the spectacle has not diminished.

”Compounding this is the fact the league’s declared revenue increased by $33.3 million in 2015 to a record $506 million. The game is growing in an unprecedented way, but the players are not being rewarded accordingly.

”What the players are asking for is not unheard of – other sports, including the NFL and NBA, use the fixed revenue sharing model. The Australian cricket team has successfully claimed the same model.”

He acknowledged that the players were well paid, but argued that they made significant lifestyle, career and privacy sacrifices and that for most players there was only ”a very short window to capitalise”.

“‘AFL the sport has never been more demanding. And it is the players who are bearing the physical – and sometimes mental – toll”.

”If the AFL wants players to be genuinely invested in the game then (a fixed percentage of revenue) is the only model as it gives the players further reason to help the league grow the league’s revenue streams.

“‘AFL football is Australia’s No.1 game, but the players are no longer the highest-paid team athletes in the country. If the AFL genuinely seeks to be the sport of choice for emerging athletes in Australia, then it must remunerate the players accordingly.”

To read Cornes’s full column, click HERE