OVENS and Murray chairman David Sinclair is fearful Goulburn Valley league clubs could be handed a competitive advantage in the recruiting stakes for next season.
While yet to be made official, The Border Mail understands the Goulburn Valley league is favouring a salary cap reduction from $180,000 to $125,000.
In contrast Ovens and Murray clubs have been unofficially informed that the salary cap is most likely to be slashed to $100,000 from $160,000.
Sinclair said the likely $25,000 difference between the two competitions would be to the detriment of the Ovens and Murray.
"Everybody understands that player payments need to be recalibrated and budgets aren't going to be as big after the COVID-19 pandemic," Sinclair said.
"The Ovens & Murray, at the very least, would want parity with the other major leagues.
"We would be disappointed to have a salary cap of $100,000 while other major leagues were trading at $125,000.
"It would put all of our clubs at a competitive disadvantage.
"The Goulburn Valley is a neighbouring competition and clubs from both leagues quite often talk to the same recruits.
"With an extra $25,000 available in their cap it then creates an uneven playing field."
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The AFL North East Border determines the salary cap in the Ovens and Murray while the Goulburn Valley league is governed by AFL Goulburn Murray.
Sinclair said both commissions should be consulting so no league is disadvantaged.
"All major leagues should be on the same page so no competition is at a disadvantage," he said.
AFL NEB general manager John O'Donohue said he was in consultation with Ovens and Murray clubs in regards to the salary cap ahead of a commission meeting on August 19.
"We are still going through the consultation process with the clubs," O'Donohue said.
"The clubs have completed an initial survey and we will hope to get some further feedback from clubs in the next week.
"We are due to meet with the commission on August 19 and hope to have it finalised shortly after that."
The Ovens and Murray and Goulburn Valley leagues were scheduled to play inter-league this year before the coronavirus outbreak.