SEVERAL clubs have been upset by an AFL decision to include the $400,000 veterans allowance within their 2017 total player payments (TPP).
Geelong and Sydney are among the clubs mystified by the call to include the allowance inside next year's $12.45 million salary cap.
With approximately $400,000 allocated to each club as part of the transition process to abolish the veterans allowance, the impact of the decision falls heaviest on clubs that previously had veterans.
Under previous TPP rules, clubs were able to pay $118,000 outside of the salary cap to an unlimited number of eligible players as an incentive to keep older players on their list.
Clubs needed to draw on their own funds to pay that extra figure.
But in 2014 the AFL put in plans to abolish the veterans allowance as part of its equalisation policies.
To help with the transition, the AFL awarded each club an extra $400,000 in their TPP to pay eligible veterans who had signed prior to the rule being scrapped.
To qualify for veteran status, players had to complete 10 years at the one club with players such as Geelong's Tom Lonergan, Sydney's Jarrad McVeigh, Bulldog Dale Morris and Fremantle's David Mundy veterans in 2016.
AFL.com.au is unclear what the contract situation is for such players in 2017 and beyond but are aware some clubs have had to rejig their salary cap projections due to the ruling.
One source also said that including the veterans allowance in the 20 per cent uplift that players secured in the CBA negotiations effectively reduces the total increase to players to below that figure.
While clubs have been able to manage the development, several are understood to be upset that they received no official indication of this decision from the AFL and the issue is expected to be raised at the next AFL CEOs meeting.
Several argue it creates a situation where the expansion clubs can pass on the full 20 per cent TPP increase to their players in 2017, while clubs who have had veterans effectively pass on a lower figure to their players as they need to pay their veterans money that previously sat outside the cap.
The AFL Media Guide's Veterans Rules declared that "the 2017 TPP per club will increase by an amount equal to the yearly average veterans' allowance payments made by all AFL clubs (excluding Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants) in the 2015 and 2016 seasons."
However, other clubs contacted by AFL.com.au, even some with veterans, said the effect of the decision to abolish the veterans allowance was not a big issue.
The AFL views the discussion as just part of the normal to and fro that occurs when decisions are made after a new CBA to ensure the effective administration of the agreement.