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AFL - Trade players against their will?


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http://www.afl.com.au/news/2015-01-16/trading-against-players-will

The AFL website is letting their 'journalists' have an opinion on things - this time it is whether players should be traded against their will ie. clubs can trade their contract at their will.

This will lead to nothing of course, but it is a huge plank in a more even competition.

I know there are a few who agree with Michael Whiting in the link above but I have to say that I have not heard a compelling argument that is congruous with the draft that we have come to be very comfortable with.

Jennifer Phelan brings out the populism with 'the players have too much power' but it isn't really that - it's the ability for teams to improve themselves using the only real commodities in footy - the players.

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Billy Beane: Jeremy, you've been traded to the Phillies. This is Ed Wade's number. He's a good guy, he's the GM. He's expecting your call. Buddy will help you with the plane flight. You're a good ballplayer, Jeremy, and we wish you the best.

I found it very refreshing watching a scene like that unfold in Moneyball.

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I think being under contract makes you an asset to the club, as said clubs asset the club should have the ability to send a contracted player to any team for the best deal.

Just like freen agency, when a player is a free agent he can go to any club that offers the best deal.

Equalisation at its finest.

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I sit on the fence for this issue. If players get the free agency limit pushed down to 6 years and compensation is removed giving clubs the ability to trade players without their consent is a fair compromise.

Michael Whiting's paragraph had some poor arguments in it, the only reasonable point he made was in regards to a players mental health if they're constantly bounced around. To cover this a clause could be inserted stating that if it's a players first contract with a club then they can't be traded.

Whiting's main points can be easily rebutted:

- It's a basic workers right to choose where they work - a) no it's not, it's a workers right to choose where they work within limits and b) they're not basic workers. Seriously, how many people are working at their employer of choice, or even their industry of choice, let alone doing their dream job. I can assure you that I'm not photographing playboy models.

- Can you imagine a homesick player being traded away from where they want to be? Don't sign that long term contract then. Pretty simple stuff.

- Taking away the right to choose your employer is a step too far. Neither you or I have that problem, so why should players? - Refer to the points above and I may add, if they don't like where they're being sent they can tear up their contract and become a 'basic worker'.

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I think its one of those areas where culture has to move, and no amount of 'law' will bring real change without it.

"You're being traded to Brisbane"

"But I hate Brisbane, and my family is in Melbourne"

"Tough"

Headline: VICTORIAN-BASED FOOTBALL CLUB ARE A PACK OF ****S, PLAYERS WANT OUT

The only real way forward is a steady cultural change towards mutual respect and a new kind of 'loyalty' based on honest, fair dealing in good faith.

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I sit on the fence for this issue. If players get the free agency limit pushed down to 6 years and compensation is removed giving clubs the ability to trade players without their consent is a fair compromise.

Michael Whiting's paragraph had some poor arguments in it, the only reasonable point he made was in regards to a players mental health if they're constantly bounced around. To cover this a clause could be inserted stating that if it's a players first contract with a club then they can't be traded.

Whiting's main points can be easily rebutted:

- It's a basic workers right to choose where they work - a) no it's not, it's a workers right to choose where they work within limits and b) they're not basic workers. Seriously, how many people are working at their employer of choice, or even their industry of choice, let alone doing their dream job. I can assure you that I'm not photographing playboy models.

- Can you imagine a homesick player being traded away from where they want to be? Don't sign that long term contract then. Pretty simple stuff.

- Taking away the right to choose your employer is a step too far. Neither you or I have that problem, so why should players? - Refer to the points above and I may add, if they don't like where they're being sent they can tear up their contract and become a 'basic worker'.

It's all a lot simpler if you consider players to be employed by the AFL, not individual clubs which can only divvy-up the salary cap.

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I think its one of those areas where culture has to move, and no amount of 'law' will bring real change without it.

"You're being traded to Brisbane"

"But I hate Brisbane, and my family is in Melbourne"

"Tough"

Headline: VICTORIAN-BASED FOOTBALL CLUB ARE A PACK OF ****S, PLAYERS WANT OUT

The only real way forward is a steady cultural change towards mutual respect and a new kind of 'loyalty' based on honest, fair dealing in good faith.

The US has dealt with this issue - as Roos has stated, and sue mentions in this thread - the contract parameters need to be changed where players are contracted by the league, therefore they can be moved anywhere.

If players take great exception, they can retire, take a two year holiday and came back through the draft. Or they can leave the game. You don't HAVE to play AFL, if professional football is not for you, it's not for you.

The AFL has set the precedent with the draft; players get drafted to teams whether they want to go there or not - it is not a great jump to trading them against their will.

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The fact is being an AFL footballer is not a 'normal' job. The players get a fantastic salary(most of them) at s young age. They get looked after and have great perks and semi-celebrity status. So to have that privilege they should have to deal with what comes their way.

The AFL is now just a business, as a club I would want the freedom to improve the business. Being able to trade freely would do that. If the AFLPA wanted free agencies then the clubs should have freedom also.

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The fact is being an AFL footballer is not a 'normal' job. The players get a fantastic salary(most of them) at s young age. They get looked after and have great perks and semi-celebrity status. So to have that privilege they should have to deal with what comes their way.

The AFL is now just a business, as a club I would want the freedom to improve the business. Being able to trade freely would do that. If the AFLPA wanted free agencies then the clubs should have freedom also.

Your first paragraph assumes a fantastic salary, great perks and celebrity status are the norm and indeed what every player desires. Not sure that is the case IDIG. My understanding is the average AFL player plays just 4 senior games. I could be a bit out on that number though. I would have thought that most AFL players want to play in the seniors regularly, play finals footy and play with their mates. Obviously if they do this the money they earn will increase.

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Yep all for trading between clubs of contracted players - as per many of the reasons previously noted in other threads.Uncontracted the player should have a say and the right to veto. My only additional thought is - if a player is traded while contracted, it should not affect his Free Agent status - ie if he has been at Melbourne for 3 years and we traded him while contracted - those 3 years are included in the allocated FA years. If an uncontracted player wishes to move then he starts again

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Yep all for trading between clubs of contracted players - as per many of the reasons previously noted in other threads.Uncontracted the player should have a say and the right to veto. My only additional thought is - if a player is traded while contracted, it should not affect his Free Agent status - ie if he has been at Melbourne for 3 years and we traded him while contracted - those 3 years are included in the allocated FA years. If an uncontracted player wishes to move then he starts again

So what if we trade a player after 5 years? Can he leave his next club after 6 years as a FA having been there for only 1 year? The second club might find that to be a disincentive. I think there will a number of grey areas re trading players against their will that may need to be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Interesting the idea of players being contracted by the AFL rather than by clubs. Could this be seen as further centralising power to the AFL and removing club control?

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Your first paragraph assumes a fantastic salary, great perks and celebrity status are the norm and indeed what every player desires. Not sure that is the case IDIG. My understanding is the average AFL player plays just 4 senior games. I could be a bit out on that number though. I would have thought that most AFL players want to play in the seniors regularly, play finals footy and play with their mates. Obviously if they do this the money they earn will increase.

I never said all of them do, I agree some don't get paid that much. But I'd imagine those players would be happy to play anywhere to get more opportunities so being traded wouldn't bother them too much. The reason I want this is because of FA. If they took away free agency then I'd be happy for it to stay the way it is. However, at the moment we have players with all the power and the clubs can't do anything and have basically no power. It has to be a two-way street.

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I never said all of them do, I agree some don't get paid that much. But I'd imagine those players would be happy to play anywhere to get more opportunities so being traded wouldn't bother them too much. The reason I want this is because of FA. If they took away free agency then I'd be happy for it to stay the way it is. However, at the moment we have players with all the power and the clubs can't do anything and have basically no power. It has to be a two-way street.

Sorry mate, I didn't mean to say that you said all. But what you say reeks of broad, sweeping statements that are just not accurate. To say that those who don't get paid much would be happy to play elsewhere and that being traded wouldn't bother them too much is just not true. I know a number of recent fringe players who have been on afl lists who went back to suburban comps rather than move interstate to keep in the system. And I've heard of many, many more. The average is four games per AFL listed player... four games. And to say that players have all the power and the clubs have nothing is borderline hyperbole. Have a look at this list from 2014 and tell me how many of these players had power over their respective clubs...

http://www.afl.com.au/news/features/retirements-and-delistings

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if fa drops to 6 years it will be the death of the big fellas

whose going to take one on to slowly develop for 4 or more years to have him walk?

Smart clubs just on the rookie list. They are already poached just before they hit their peak quite often. And they are signed up on long term deals despite offering nothing (see Jake Spencer or Shaun Hampson).

My issue with the current free agency is I think it's flawed and it's created this crazy trade market.

I'm all for:

- 6 year unrestricted free agency

- 5th and 6th year franchise tag years at big wages

- 4 year restricted free agency with the right to match a contract

- 1-4 year draftee contracts that are tradeable

So pretty much you enter the draft and you are treated as an asset by clubs. Once you hit 4th year you get some freedom to move. Once you hit 6th year you can do what you like.

It's harsh on first to 4th year players. But that increases the value of the draft. And clubs will be compassionate to players in harsh situations.

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The players have far too much power and it's only getting worse (i.e Ryder, Beams, Clark).

Implementing this would give some of the power back to the clubs. I like the concept of all players being employed by the AFL so being traded/drafted by clubs should be part & parcel of the trade (regardless of player consent), if you want to play this game at the highest level then it's something you have to accept.

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I was having a think about this last night, why don't they reduce the Veterans list eligibility from 10 years to be in line with unrestricted free agency? Currently clubs get an 'allowance' to spend on each veteran player, which is equivalent to approx 1.3% (approx. $130-$140,000) of the salary cap per player.

I'm not sure it would help in retaining players a great deal, as the better players typically leave for success, but it makes sense to me to have them start at the same time.

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Sorry mate, I didn't mean to say that you said all. But what you say reeks of broad, sweeping statements that are just not accurate. To say that those who don't get paid much would be happy to play elsewhere and that being traded wouldn't bother them too much is just not true. I know a number of recent fringe players who have been on afl lists who went back to suburban comps rather than move interstate to keep in the system. And I've heard of many, many more. The average is four games per AFL listed player... four games. And to say that players have all the power and the clubs have nothing is borderline hyperbole. Have a look at this list from 2014 and tell me how many of these players had power over their respective clubs...

http://www.afl.com.au/news/features/retirements-and-delistings

Delistings happen every year, once the player is out of contract the club is free to do what they want. If they are in contract then the club is obliged to pay them out, as we saw with Michael Evans. If a player would prefer to play in the local leagues then that is their choice (I know a lot of players get paid very well in the country leagues). My argument is in regards to FA and recent events (such as players who have been in the system 1-2 years asking to be traded to a certain club). The AFL and AFLPA created FA to be more in line with what happens in the USA, however as mentioned in the USA in sports such as NFL, teams can trade a player wherever they like. It gives the players greater freedom to move and also gives the teams greater freedom to build the best side they can. I personally don't like FA, but if they are going to try and make it even easier for players to move then they also have to make it easier for clubs to trade. That's my opinion anyway, which we are all entitled too.

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Delistings happen every year, once the player is out of contract the club is free to do what they want. If they are in contract then the club is obliged to pay them out, as we saw with Michael Evans. If a player would prefer to play in the local leagues then that is their choice (I know a lot of players get paid very well in the country leagues). My argument is in regards to FA and recent events (such as players who have been in the system 1-2 years asking to be traded to a certain club). The AFL and AFLPA created FA to be more in line with what happens in the USA, however as mentioned in the USA in sports such as NFL, teams can trade a player wherever they like. It gives the players greater freedom to move and also gives the teams greater freedom to build the best side they can. I personally don't like FA, but if they are going to try and make it even easier for players to move then they also have to make it easier for clubs to trade. That's my opinion anyway, which we are all entitled too.

Agreed IDIG, there should be a balance between where players want to go and what trades the clubs want to do.

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