AFL Players Association CEO Paul Marsh has reinforced his opinion that it is an “indictment” that just one footballer made the BRW list of Australian sport’s top earners.
Basketballer Andrew Bogut topped the annual list earning a reported $16.2 million in 2014.
But of the AFL players only Gary Ablett, who came in at No.47, was in the top 50.
An indictment on AFL that only 1 player makes top 50 highest earners in Australian sport despite being biggest sport http://t.co/nQMbAn7G4j
— Paul Marsh (@Marsh_Paul) February 17, 2015
Marsh sparked a lively discussion on Tuesday night when he tweeted: “An indictment on AFL that only 1 player makes top 50 highest earners in Australian sport despite being biggest sport.”
“We, as an industry, need to ensure that playing in the AFL is the number one career choice for young sportsmen in australia..” – paul marsh
“I have had plenty of feedback, that’s for sure,” he told AFLplayers.com.au on Wednesday.
“But I am concerned that the best players in the biggest sport in the country are so far down the list of earners.
“All sports are competing for the best athletes.
“We, as an industry, need to ensure that playing in the AFL is the number one career choice for young sportsmen in this country.
“Offering salaries reflective of the size, profitability and popularity of the game is a must. It just has to be an integral part of the AFL package.
“In my view the AFL leads the way in Australian sport in its professionalism, the support services it offers its people and the remuneration it offers its executives. But the remuneration we are offering our players is lagging behind some of our major competitors. The sport has to look at this seriously.”
Marsh said a proposed increase in salary for the players putting on the show each weekend shouldn’t come at a cost to the game’s loyal fans and members.
“We know that footy fans support their clubs and the game with great passion, as well as financially, year in, year out.
“When you put the AFL and the 18 clubs together, the game is currently profitable. I think we need to look closely at whether the money in the game is being spent as efficiently as it can be.”