Tag Archives: free-agency

AFL & NRL Grand Finals, Arsenal…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell the AFL Grand Final is over and the competition has seen it’s second three-peat in the space of 15 years and this is in the context of a competition which has a salary cap and draft which is supposed to even out the competition. You factor in that Geelong has also won three in five years in that same period and the Swans have played in four Grand Finals and won two as well and it seems to be an indicator that once clubs get to the top it is hard to topple them despite the imagesdraft and salary cap. It has meant that Brisbane who completed the initial three-peat struggled after competing in the last of their grand finals in 2004 and Geelong are starting to struggle now having finished out of the finals for the first time in nine years. It seems though that teams are having long sustained runs at or near the top. Free agency and trading also favours teams up the top as good players only want to go to ‘destination’ clubs.

The NRL provided a lot more interesting grand final than the AFL with the high drama of the golden point result. While it might be sour bennettgrapes on the part of Wayne Bennett, I must say I think to lose a game in that circumstance would be pretty hard to take. If they are going to have extra time, it should be ten minutes each way as the golden point comes down to luck or bad luck as Brisbane’s Hunt would attest.

It was good to see last years VRC Derby winner, Preferment win the Turnbull Stakes and last years VRC Oaks winner, Set Square run third in the same race. Too often these days the winners of those races Unknown-6disappear the following year to be never seen again. I hope they both go on and have a successful spring carnival as it adds to the value of those races.

It was also great to see the Gunners fight back after a very disappointing display at home against Olypiakos during the week to alexis-sanchez-arsenal-burnley_3223813come out and trounce Manchester United by 3-0. The three goals came in the first 20 minutes and Man U did not look like scoring. I think this year Arsenal have a side which could be good enough to win the title, they just need to be consistent through the entire season.

Have a great weekend!

AFL theory of equalisation a myth after free agency!

footballAfter writing yesterday’s piece on AFL broadcast rights, I gave some thought to free agency, the trade period and whether the current AFL system is equitable to all clubs. Most stories that have been in the media recently talk of lower ranked clubs like Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and¬†GWS losing players to the top dogs of the competition in Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Sydney or Geelong.

It seems most players want to go to a club that can challenge for a flag immediately or in the not too distant future. Take for example Mitch Clarke – he wants out of the Demons to go to Geelong (a usual top four finisher) and James Frawley appears certain to also leave the Demons to go to…..well you take your pick of the top clubs. His name has been mentioned in the same sentence as Hawthorn (this year’s premiers in case you missed it), Geelong and Fremantle. Haven’t heard any rumors that he was considering St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, GWS or staying at Melbourne.

What this means is that the stronger clubs get stronger as they pick off the good talent from the weaker clubs….and we know what that means. The weaker clubs get weaker and so the cycle continues. How is this different to the pre-draft days of the 1970’s and 1980’s when the size of the cheque book dictated the strength of the team and where you finished on the ladder. Seems to me we have replaced one bad system with another and it will only get worse as the years go by.crowd

Speaking of broadcast rights…..if the AFL becomes too much of a lop sided competition, I don’t know that it will foster interest in the game, get bums on seats and people watching on TV, all of which affects the amount of money the broadcasters are willing to pay for the content.

I’d suggest this should be a priority issue for the AFL to address.