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AFL strikes $2.2 billion pay deal with players in historic joint collective bargaining agreement

The AFL has struck a $2.2 billion pay deal with players, which includes massive wage rises for women’s players and longer contracts for first-round draftees in the men’s competition.

Key points:

It is the first time a single CBA has covered both AFL and AFLW players
The average wage of AFLW players will rise to $82,000 by the end of 2027
The average salary in the men’s competition will be $519,000 by the end of the agreement

The average wage of AFLW players will rise to $82,000 by the end of 2027, up from the current $46,000, in the first joint collective bargaining agreement (CBA) covering female and male players.

The length of AFLW seasons will be increased to 10 matches, while first-round draftees will now sign a three-year contract in the men’s competition, which is up from two seasons.

The AFL also plan to continue discussions about a men’s mid-season draft after announcing the CBA alongside the AFL Players’ Association on Thursday.

After months of haggling, the CBA was hailed by both parties as a win for the sport.

By the end of the agreement in 2027, the average AFL men’s salary will be $519,000, up from $387,000 last year.

The AFL past players’ injury and hardship fund will receive $60 million until the end of the agreement, compared to $20 million in the last deal.

The CBA also forecasts more five-day breaks between men’s matches to provide fixturing flexibility and more Thursday night matches.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the impact for women’s footballers was particularly significant.

“The new CBA provides certainty to the players for both competitions,” McLachlan said in a statement.

“Our AFLW players receive another immediate boost after an historic 94 per cent increase last season.

“And the opportunity is ahead of the competition to continue to grow in length if we can reach some key support metrics that have been achieved before.

“Together we will focus on expanding crowds and TV audience for the women’s competition while working to engage more women and girls to take up football.”




Author: Russell White