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AFL players could pay a bond before embarking on post-season holidays


PLAYERS could be asked to pay a bond before embarking on a post-season holiday, such is the level of anxiety around potential misbehaviour in Queensland.

With heightened tension at AFL and government levels in the wake of the Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones protocol breaches, the league and its clubs are trying to formulate a strategy to reduce the behavioural risk of players who remain in the state.

Collingwood chief executive Mark Anderson was charged with getting feedback from club bosses on the matter, with talks ramping up yesterday.

It’s understood a concept was raised whereby players would pay a set fee that they would then be refunded should they not transgress, much like a landlord puts in place for a rental property.

The bond idea was one of several recommendations and while it had not been put to the AFL Players’ Association, it would almost certainly be rejected by the player union.

The AFLPA is currently working with the AFL on a plan that would see the COVID-19 protocols extended by 48 hours after players, officials and family members leave their respective hubs.

But club bosses are particularly worried about the potential for delisted players to run the gauntlet without consequences, pointing to the fact contracts don’t formally expire until October 31.

The AFL is desperate to do the right thing by the Queensland Government given the exemptions it has afforded the game, but also acknowledge this would normally be a players’ annual leave period.

The Queensland Government last week came under attack from the Federal Government, which said Annastacia Palaszcuk and her cabinet were guilty of double standards given the harsher restrictions on the rest of the community.

The league has already banned players from holding traditional “Mad Monday” functions either inside or outside the club hubs.

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