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Taxing bigger clubs could stifle AFL: Evans

Matt Thompson  December 20, 2012 3:55 PM

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Essendon chairman David Evans

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If you start putting caps and luxury caps on spending, you'll stifle creativity and innovation
ESSENDON fears a cap on football department spending could stifle the future of the game.

Bombers chairman David Evans has baulked at the prospect of further equalisation measures, as the gap between rich and poor AFL clubs continues to grow.

Addressing members at the club's annual general meeting, Evans declared: "We won't be taxed anymore – as long as I am in this role."

With the salary cap and further League-wide equalisation measures in place, club football departments remain a key area where clubs can flex their financial muscle.

Evans wouldn't predict what might happen if the AFL tried to take more from the rich to give to the poor, but felt compelled to weigh into the debate.

"If you start putting caps and luxury caps on spending, you'll stifle creativity and innovation," he told AFL.com.au on Thursday.  

He said taxing clubs to force equality was the "wrong model."

"Clubs should be incentivised to grow the game," he said.

"Things like capping football expenditure and luxury taxes and things frankly don't work."

Such moves would boost smaller clubs, at least in the short term, but Essendon is not the first of the stronger clubs to flag concerns.

Meanwhile, there is no doubt the AFL's enormous investment in two new franchises in a tight economy has caused some financial concerns among the existing clubs.

But Evans said the new sides were an example of why individual clubs must be given the opportunity to explore new ideas.

"I think the expansion has been one of the great things to happen in the last century of AFL football, that is being bold, but lets not do it at the expense of letting clubs like Essendon going out and continuing to innovate," he said.

Matt Thompson is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @MattThompsonAFL