Already several coaches have been made redundant while many have been working as labourers or in other short-term employment while waiting to find out their fate beyond the shutdown. The uncertainty has been difficult for clubs and assistant coaches with managers unable to deliver the outlook with any certainty.
The AFL told club CEOs on Tuesday to expect the cuts to the football department cap to be commensurate with the cuts made in other sections of the industry, with most expecting the cap to be between $6.2 to $6.7 million in 2021. The AFL has not yet decided whether the cap will be soft or hard but the wealthier clubs are expected to vigorously oppose the hard option.
A working group involving the Sydney Swans’ John Longmire and West Coast’s Adam Simpson as well as leading football managers presented options to the AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, arguing that the competition would struggle to develop a strong playing pool across 18 clubs if the cuts crossed a tipping point.
Clubs are keen to receive an indication on what the football department cap will be however there have been voices from the football department working group urging the AFL to not rush into setting a cap figure until they have worked through how second-tier competitions might function next year.