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Free agency disaster talk an “overreaction” says AFLPA


AFL Players Association CEO Paul Marsh says free agency was never brought in as an equalisation measure, in the wake of criticism from Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane.

Cochrane has lashed out at the AFL’s free agency model, telling numerous media outlets it is a “disaster” and hasn’t achieved what it was meant to.

However, Marsh has taken an alternative view, explaining how free agency was never meant to help the league become equal, and saying the amount of players that move via the mechanism is still low.

SEN Breakfast with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson can be heard Monday-Friday 6-9am, and you can subscribe to the podcast here.

“I do think it’s an overreaction,” Marsh told SEN Breakfast.

“The stats in our mind are pretty clear and it is early in the free agency days.

“We are looking at about just over two free agents that move in a given year, so this year we have got 51 free agents and if the trends of the last few years continue, two of those players, or maybe a couple more, will move.

“We do spent a lot of time talking about this issue and the stats at this point are not showing that it is the armageddon that everyone is talking it up to be.

“There are other measures in our competition that do promote equalisation.

“Free agency was never brought in as an equalisation measure, it was about freedom of choice for players and what is a basic human right, that after eight years, a player can move to a club of their choice.

“We have got a salary cap that is built into the model, so it’s not like one club can just stockpile all the best talent.”

Listen to Paul Marsh’s chat with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson on SEN Breakfast in the player below

Paul Marsh AFLPA SEN Breakfast

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