AFL North East-Border announces salary cap investigation of up to six clubs

AFL NEB regional manager John O'Donohue

AFL NEB regional manager John O'Donohue

AFL North-East Border will carry out salary cap investigations of up to six clubs in the region.

The identity of the clubs will remain confidential, but those under the microscope played finals in the Ovens and Murray, Tallangatta and District, Ovens and King and Upper Murray leagues this year.

The salary cap has been in place for one season and the investigations will be carried out by accredited AFL VIctoria integrity officers.

They will report back to the commission which will determine penalties for any breaches.

“AFLNEB has been pleased with club reporting and lodgement of club budgets and player declarations in the initial year, but investigations are warranted to ensure the rule is successfully implemented,” regional manager John O’Donohue said.

“We would expect every club to be randomly selected or targeted to be investigated at least once in the coming years.”

O’Donohue confirmed player travel arrangements needed further clarification among clubs.

“AFLNEB expects to identify a range of anomalies which will require clarification and would be included in further club education ahead of the 2018 season,” he said.

“Our own compliance assessment and analysis of club (salary cap) management practices has identified that further clarification and education on the new rule is necessary at all levels of the game.”

Salary cap guidelines state: “Cash or non-cash payments and benefits given or applied to a player in connection with their travel or accommodation costs associated with a player’s past, present or future services with a club as a football player shall be treated as a player payment, and therefore are included in the calculation of the club’s player payments.”

Ovens and Murray clubs can spend $180,000 per season on players which includes a $20,000 discount for a playing coach.

The TDFL cap is set at $80,000, Ovens and King at $70,000 and Upper Murray at $60,000.

The Hume league doesn’t have a salary cap in place yet, but clubs have been asked to operate on a $100,000 budget without enforcement by AFL NSW-ACT.

AFL Barwon this year handed out $500 suspended fines to five clubs for failing to fill out salary cap related paperwork correctly.