EARLIER this off-season AFL Central Victoria announced not only its new player point allocations for clubs for this year, but also a change to the Loddon Valley league salary cap.
LVFL clubs now have an extra $10,000 available in their cap following an increase from $120,000 to $130,000 in 2018.
The reasoning for the increase from the AFLCV commission was essentially that having the lowest cap in the region left LVFL clubs somewhat at the mercy of rival competitions, in particular the North Central and Heathcote District leagues.
Both the North Central and Heathcote District leagues have salary caps of $140,000.
In announcing the Loddon Valley league cap increase, AFLCV region manager Carol Cathcart said: “Part of what we wanted to do was try to assist Loddon Valley league clubs in retaining their players who they had and we needed to close that salary cap gap a bit to be able to do that.”
The North Central league’s $140,000 equates to slightly more value than the Heathcote District league given the NCFL plays only 21 players in a senior team compared to the HDFL’s 22.
With the full amount spent, North Central averages out to $416 per player per home and away game, compared to Heathcote District’s $397 per player. Loddon Valley’s $130,000 averages to $369 per player.
However, with the AFLCV commission having acknowledged a need for the cap gap to be bridged for the LVFL to the HDFL and NCFL, why not give it complete parity with those two competitions of $140,000 as well?
Over 16 home and away games, the $10,000 difference equates to an average of $625 per week less – or a top quality player – LVFL clubs have to spend compared to their HDFL and NCFL counterparts.
Whether clubs can spend the $140,000 is another topic, but why shouldn’t the LVFL at least be afford the same opportunity to do so? Or perhaps bring the other two leagues back to $130,000 going forward.