A RECORD 19 players earned at least $1 million in 2023, with eight of those bringing in more than $1.2 million, according to the latest Total Player Payment (TPP) figures.
AFL.com.au's chief football correspondent, Damian Barrett, has revealed on the AFL Daily podcast the breakdown of the 19-man million-dollar club in 2023, which increased from 12 players from the previous year.
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The full TPP numbers, which are set to be released later on Monday, show the average player salary increased 11 per cent year on year, up to $441,464.
While the salaries of individual players are not made public, Barrett says the likes of Dustin Martin, Nat Fyfe and Jeremy McGovern were all part of the million-dollar club last year.
He added that the increase in the number of players earning $1 million or more indicates a shift towards the absolute very best being duly compensated, whereas previously it had been the "mid-tier" players who had benefitted from the increased revenue in the game.
"I've recently felt that it's been the mid-tier players who have benefitted financially the most from the money that is coming in," Barrett said on AFL Daily.
"I feel the biggest names in the game have actually been held back by this arrangement and this situation that has been allowed to creep into the marketplace.
"I know it's a collective sport and football clubs and players don't ever want to be putting themselves out there, like they do in the NFL and other US sports.
"But I still feel the best players, the drawcard players, the blockbuster players have not been recompensed properly. Maybe there's a shift towards that with the 2023 numbers."
Listen to AFL Daily below for Damo's full chat with Nat Edwards about the 2023 player payments, including discussing who the million-dollar players are
- A full breakdown of the 2023 TPP numbers (1.40)
- The age old debate - should player salaries be made public? (6.10)
- Who is on the $1 million list? (7.45)
- Debating Bailey Smith's future at the Bulldogs (12.00)
- Can Brodie Grundy get back to his best at Sydney? (13.20)