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Richmond great reveals surprising details of first AFL contract


Richmond great Matthew Richardson has revealed the very first contract he received in the AFL.

‘Richo’ moved from Devonport, Tasmania to join the Tigers under the father-son rule as an athletic teenager prior to the 1993 season.

He initially signed a four-year deal, but how much was it worth?

(Mind you, his dad Alan ‘Bull’ Richardson had to sign it because Richo was only 17 at the time).

The numbers were read out by former teammate Nathan Brown on the Sportsbet AFL podcast.

Richo’s first ever AFL contract
(Which was set out on a typewriter)

  • The base payment in 1993 was $12,500.
  • Senior match payment of $150 per game + $500 per win.
  • irst senior match bonus of $5,000.
  • Best and fairest bonus: $5,000. (Decreasing by $1,000 down to 5th).
  • Accommodation allowance: $100 per week.
  • Travel allowance: $40 per week.
  • Relocation fee: $10,000.

The three-time All-Australian and 13-time Tigers leading goalkicker gave a snapshot of what he earned in his debut season.

“I added that all up,” he said.

“In my first year I got $12.5k base, I played 14 games at $150, so that’s $2,100.

“Four wins for $2,000. I got two of the milestones so that’s another $4,000. My first game $5,000 and my relocation fee of 10 grand.

“All up I got $35,600 and when the tax was taken out I got under 20 grand for playing 14 games of AFL football.”

To subsidise this, he had to work a full-time job.

Richardson’s base payment increased from $12,500 to $15,000 to $17,500 and up to $20,000 by the end of his four-year contract.

In 1996 when he kicked 91 goals, Richo would have raked in less than $30,000.

He would go on to kick 800 goals from 282 games, winning one Jack Dyer Medal and a place in Richmond’s Hall of Fame as one of the club’s best ever.

Check it all out below:


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