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Fyfe, Dusty should be earning $8-10m per season: Barrett

Stunning drugs policy admission, Thor furore, injury updates Footy Feed with Nat Edwards including a Damian Barrett exclusive

DAMIAN Barrett says the AFL's top players are grossly underpaid.

Barrett has pushed for the salary cap to be abolished so the game's elite could increase their earning capacity to millions of dollars per season.

Barrett, speaking on The Sounding Board podcast, said too few of the AFL's marquee drawcards were capitalising on their crowd-pulling abilities.

Under an abolished salary cap, Barrett said Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe could command eight to 10 million dollars per season.

"When you use a list of Australia's top paid athletes, there's never – or rarely – an AFL footballer on it in the top 15 or 20. While we have got the massive money, it's spread across the range," Barrett said.

"I'm going to watch Nat Fyfe, I'm going to watch Dusty Martin, and yet Dusty Martin and Nat Fyfe, on these figures released officially last week, are only earning three-and-a-bit times the average – and the average is inclusive of a first-year player."

But co-host Craig Hutchison said the radical model was unaffordable for many of the AFL's cash-strapped clubs.

"I find that an extraordinarily naive thing to say for someone who's been in the business for 30 years. You're missing the most important ingredient – what you can afford to pay him," Hutchison said.

"We've got 12 of the 18 clubs who either are unprofitable or struggle or barely make ends meet. There's no money.

"If you surveyed all 18 clubs and said, 'Would you like to lift the salary cap? Yes or no', the answer would be no. It suits everyone's agenda not to pay more than they do."

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Episode guide

1:00 – Sam, Mike and Thomo podcast has bitten the dust

27:00 – Damo says the elite AFL talent are underpaid

33:30 – The night Grand Final

39:00 – The latest with Brian 'the Mimosa Moustache' Taylor