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AFL funds to 'help Lions fight bigger clubs'

Laine Clark  July 3, 2013 3:44 PM

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Jonathan Brown hopes the Lions can soon pay 100 per cent of their salary cap

We are a small market team so it is hard for us to compete against teams like Collingwood - the AFL is aware of that now
NEWS of a potential $1.5 million funding boost that looks set to secure the future of Michael Voss does not surprise Lions co-captain Jonathan Brown - but he is amazed it has not happened sooner.

Brown on Wednesday welcomed reports the Lions would benefit from extra funding in 2014 under new AFL equalisation measures to be announced at the end of the season - money that looks set to boost recruitment and Voss' coaching tenure.

However, the triple premiership player seemed taken aback that the AFL had taken so long to help the "football outpost".

"We are a small market team so it is hard for us to compete against teams like Collingwood - the AFL is aware of that now," he said.

"If Vossy moves forward it would be good to have a few more resources for him - development is so important these days.

"I know the club is working towards that but they have certainly been hamstrung by the finances in the previous few years.

"We have had some good management and we are starting to dig ourselves out of a hole."

The funding boost is not only set to extend Voss' coaching career at the club for another two years but place the Lions in the running for some of the biggest off-contract stars, including Hawthorn's Lance Franklin.

However, Brown looked forward to the prospect of the Lions finally having the capacity to pay the full $9.632 million salary cap next year rather than speculate on potential signings.

"It's all speculation at the moment but we need the Brisbane Lions to be paying 100 per cent of the salary cap," he said.

"It is already hard enough to retain players up here because we are a bit of a football outpost.

"We need more resources to match it with the bigger clubs but I think that is an AFL issue.

"The divide is becoming greater and greater between what the big clubs spend and the smaller clubs in the football departments.

"Hopefully that is an area that will be addressed fairly soon."

Brown threw his support behind the retention of Voss, who has endured calls for his head during a rollercoaster 2013 season.

The Lions (14th; 4-9 record) will line up against rapidly improving rivals Gold Coast (13th; 5-8) at the Gabba on Saturday.

"At the end of the day they (Voss' re-signing) is a board decisions but I think he has done a really good job as coach," Brown said.

"We started a fair way back a couple of years ago but a lot of the younger players are coming along.

"There is a pretty exciting future. We've had a couple of big scalps this year but unfortunately we have been inconsistent - but I think Vossy has done a good job."