Barnawartha co-coach Peter Cook is fearful Hume league clubs have been handed a competitive advantage in the recruiting stakes.
Both the Tallangatta and Hume leagues recently announced their salary cap reductions for next year.
The Tallangatta league was cut from $80,000 to $65,000 while the Hume league was reduced to $80,000 from $95,000.
Hume league clubs will also benefit from a one-point reduction to all eligible players in the player points allocation, despite the season being ruined by COVID-19.
Cook said the $15,000 discrepancy between the two leagues would be to the detriment of the Tallangatta league.
"It's disappointing and the one issue I have is that the reduction is not in parity with the Hume league," Cook said.
"I know it's tough because the two leagues do run under a different banner.
"As much as you would hope money doesn't come into the equation, it does.
"If you have got a neighbouring league with a soft $80,000 salary cap, it is questionable at least.
"I've got nothing against the Hume league clubs.
"I just think the two leagues are of a similar standard and often target the same players to recruit.
"It's going to make it very tough to recruit now."
IN OTHER NEWS
Cook felt the $15,000 reduction for Tallangatta league clubs, which equates to almost 20 per cent, was excessive.
"It's a big decrease," Cook said.
"Clubs set themselves a budget and it's seems to be getting harder to recruit players each year.
"I thought an $80,000 salary cap was about spot on, so to drop it to $65,000 is almost a 20 per cent cut.
"Fortunately most of our players are loyal to the club and are happy to take a pay cut.
"That's how we have addressed the decrease with our players.
"The salary cap has been reduced by 20 per cent, so we will have to reduce your pay by 20 per cent.
"The players have been accepting of that."
Cook said clubs would now be forced to rely more on their junior talent than recruits to remain competitive.
"We will keep promoting our kids," he said.
"So it's all about supporting the juniors.
"At the end of the day, you can only play with the cards you are dealt."