O&M clubs reveal flaw in AFL Victoria survey

OVENS and Murray clubs have highlighted a flaw in the secret online survey being conducted by AFL Victoria into the escalation of player payments.

North East Border regional manager John O’Donohue said 13 survey responses had been made from the O and M, despite it having only 10 clubs.

“We haven’t seen the responses yet and we are just working on the number of responses at this stage,” he told OAKFM.

The revelation adds to cynicism the survey won’t flush out the true picture of what clubs spend.

“There is a fair degree of honesty expected because it is such a big issue,” O’Donohue said.

“The reality is some won’t, but we need a base of information to work from.

“The issue that is most concerning, and it is what the survey will hopefully establish, is that there is an issue with the escalation of player payments.”

O’Donohue is on the AFL working party looking into the issue of player payments and conceded the O and M was “right up there” as one of the biggest spending competitions in the state.

The working party had met six times since it was formed last October.

Clubs have until the end of the month to complete the survey.

A salary cap across country leagues was scrapped nearly a decade ago and 16 leagues are operating under independent player points systems as a means of curtailing player payments.

O’Donohue said changes would be made, but the process couldn’t be rushed.

“We will do ourselves damage if it is not rolled out properly,” he said.

“The fact we are talking about it is significant.”

The survey comes at the same time a pressure group of O and M identities has been formed to speed up equalisation measures.

O’Donohue met group members Peter Tossol and Jon Henry yesterday, after a meeting of O and M chairman Graeme Patterson and general manager Aaron McGlynn with Tossol and Tim Sanson on Friday.

“Some of those guys are very passionate about the competition and footy in general,” O’Donohue said.

“They have got credibility and great experience, hopefully we can bring them in and work with them.”