MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 03: Anne Hatchard of the Crows runs with the ball during the 2019 NAB AFLW Round 05 match between the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos and the Adelaide Crows at Chirnside Park on March 03, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
AFLW players will receive an initial pay rise of 21 per cent and the season will be extended to 12 matches by 2022 if the AFL’s proposed collective bargaining agreement is signed off by players.
After months of negotiation, the AFL and the AFLPA have agreed on a proposed CBA, which needs to be voted on and agreed to by the AFLW playing group.
The proposed CBA would see the 2020 season comprised of eight rounds of home-and-away matches and three weeks of finals (up from seven and two in 2019), with the 2021 and 2022 seasons having nine rounds and three weeks of finals.
Fans were hoping for a 13-round season to match the 14-team competition (with Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast joining next year), but that will not occur until at least 2023.
The length of the pre-season will also gradually increase under the proposed agreement.
The new AFLW CBA will expire on October 31, 2022, the same date as both the AFL CBA and the broadcast deal.
It will also come with a hefty pay rise for players, particularly in 2020, the first season of the deal.
Players will have their pay increased by 21 per cent in 2020, and then an additional 10 and 11 per cent year on year.
Total player payments across the 14 clubs will increase by 106 per cent from 2019 to 2022, with a significant part of that total rise due to the four new teams entering the competition.
The AFLPA and AFL had previously agreed to a four-tier payment structure, which will continue to be in place for the next three seasons.
The lowest tier is tied to the men’s minimum wage on a pro-rata basis.
The highest paid footballers in the competition (two tier-one players per club) will receive $29,856 in the 2020 season, rising to $36,222 in the final year of the agreement.