IT IS official — local football clubs are on notice.
AFL Victoria today revealed the final details of a statewide player points system, which will be implemented next year, as it seeks to lessen the divide between the haves and have nots in suburban and country competitions.
Clubs across Victoria will have a maximum of 50 team points available under the measures.
But metropolitan leagues and region commissions can apply to an AFL Victoria sub-committee if an affiliated club requires more points.
Leagues and their clubs trialled measures this year in preparation for 2016 after a proposed points system and salary cap were released in May following an AFL Victoria commissioned survey of clubs.
A salary cap is set to work in conjunction with the points system from 2017.
“A large majority of metropolitan leagues and region commissions viewed the implementation of the player points system and the players salary cap in potentially the same year as too much for clubs, and that there needed to be a more phased-in approach,” AFL Victoria community football and engagement manager Brett Connell said
“Given the feedback suggested the players salary cap program required further detail and investigation, the sub-committee believes it will be best suited to a 2017 implementation, with training and education relating to the salary cap to begin across the 2016 season.”
But leagues have been granted the flexibility to apply either a one or two-point reduction for players who served the same club this season.
Competitions can decide their own points limit and release information to clubs at their discretion.
“As long as all of their affiliated clubs are 50 points or under they will not need to seek prior approval from the community club sustainability program sub-committee in the first year,” Connell said.
The AFL Victoria working party is in the process of establishing a framework for the Victorian Amateur Football Association.
The sub-committee will work to ensure club volunteers are given necessary support as part of the implementation of the points system.
“This policy is all about sustaining community football and supporting the thousands of volunteers across the state who are the backbone of local football,” Connell said.
Sixty-three per cent of surveyed clubs revealed they paid every player in their senior team.
From 2017, clubs could be hit with fines, relegation and be suspended from finals if they breach the rules.
Clubs are expected to be randomly audited under a system similar to the Australian Taxation Office.
Steven Reaper, Brett Connell, Michael Daniher, Paul Hamilton, John O’Donohue, Lee Hartman, Marc Turri, Phil Murton, Nicholas Rolfe and Tony Mitchell were members of the 10-man working party.
Suburban deciders were punctuated by big margins this year, with the Essendon District, Western Region and Eastern leagues all having one-sided top tier grand finals.
THE POINTS SYSTEM EXPLAINED
Six points: Players who have played at least one AFL game in the past three years and are not a “home player”.
Five points: Players who have played at least five VFL, SANFL or WAFL state league matches over the past three years and are not a “home player”.
Four points: Players who have played at least five TAC Cup matches or five senior NEAFL or TASFL games in the past three years or are classed as a premium community player.
Three points: Senior community players and transferred junior players
Two points: Development community players
One point: Home players
What is a home player? A player who has played more than 40 games with a club at under-17 level or lower or a player that has only played at one club.