North Bendigo welcomes AFLCV player payment review

North Bendigo president Jie Thomson.

North Bendigo president Jie Thomson.

NORTH Bendigo president Jie Thomson says the club welcomed the opportunity to have had its player payments scutinised by AFL Central Victoria.

The Bulldogs are one of six clubs that have been recently reviewed by AFLCV following the introduction of the local football salary cap this year.

AFLCV region manager Carol Cathcart said this week the clubs that have been reviewed across the Bendigo, Heathcote District, Loddon Valley and North Central leagues were all compliant with the relevant salary caps for their competition.

Thomson acknowledges the Bulldogs – red-hot favourites to win a third Heathcote District league flag in a row – were one of the reviewed clubs, adding that by being assessed as all clear would “squash a few rumours” in regards to the club’s player expenditure.

“The salary cap has been strongly welcomed by the clubs. We were one of the clubs recently audited and it’s good to see all have passed through this thorough process,” Thomson said on Thursday.

“We have a strong foundation and the process will certainly squash a few rumours and return integrity to players in the competition.

“As our clubs are run by volunteers, hopefully, some training and education will be offered moving forward to assist clubs… and no extra administration fees sounds good to me.”

The salary cap for the Heathcote District league is $140,000 – an average of $8750 per week over 16 home and away rounds.

“It was a very thorough audit. If there was anything there to come out then it would have, and so it should,” Thomson said.

“With the audit done, now we can turn our focus back to playing well in the finals.”

The reviews are conducted by an AFL Victoria-appointed integrity officer.

Also among the clubs reviewed was Mitiamo in the Loddon Valley league, which has a salary cap of $120,000 – an average of $7500 over 16 home and away rounds.

“I wouldn’t like to be a new treasurer presenting all the information for the first time, but we’ve had Ken Hynes doing it for 25 years and he presented our books in a professional manner,” Mitiamo president Rob Clohesy said.

“If we had our best team playing every week then we would have been pushing our salary cap and player points, but you’re never going to get that and we realised that by round 12 we wouldn’t have any concerns regarding our finances.

“We believe though it’s important AFL Victoria continues to educate us a lot better in terms of what they expect from us because none of us have been through this before.”

AFLCV has said all clubs in the region would be reviewed over the next five years, which will “allow for comparisons from season to season and provide more detailed analysis”.