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The money in Australian sport is in the AFL

Who are the million dollar men? Nick Bowen and Matt Thompson play the guessing game
Scott Pendlebury excelled as a junior basketballer and can play a bit of soccer, but is best off sticking with the Pies - ${keywords}
Scott Pendlebury excelled as a junior basketballer and can play a bit of soccer, but is best off sticking with the Pies

AFL PLAYERS have streamed further ahead of other sports – and other industries – as some of Australia's highest paid professionals, the most recent TPP figures reveal.

With the average AFL salary exceeding $300,000 for the first time in 2015, the players moved further ahead of their NRL counterparts, whose salary cap allows for an average pay packet of approximately $244,000, excluding State of Origin payments.

The average AFL pay packet would still trail the average Australian cricketers annual salary, however, with national team contracts starting at $250,000 before match and squad payments, which range from $3,863 to $15,450.

Players cash in

Australian cricketers Shane Watson, David Warner and Steve Smith are among the countries highest earning sports stars given their lucrative Twenty-20 deals and ambassador sponsorships.

Soccer players in the national A-League competition earn an average of approximately $120,000 in their salary cap, which excludes 'marquee' players.

They are marginally ahead of basketballers in the NBL, who earn approximately $100,000 on average.

Netballers in the ANZ Championship, including those with national contracts to represent the Diamonds, earn approximately $50,000 with a large discrepancy between the best and worst paid.

They can earn between $15,000 and $200,000, according to Netball Australia, and use their profiles to generate revenue with endorsements and other commercial activities.  

Only one listed AFL player earned less than $60,000 in 2015, while a further 65 earned less than $100,000.

A large portion of the League's players (341) earned between $100,000 and $300,000, with 311 earning above this threshold.  

Compared to other industries, AFL players remain very well off, earning considerably higher wages than the average professional in mining, engineering and legal professions.