CURRENT AFL players will be asked to take a pay cut of around 3.5 per cent as part of wider cuts communicated on Wednesday. 

It comes as the total salary cap – including the additional services agreements (ASA) – will be slashed by nine per cent next season from around $14.5m to $13.1m. 

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However, the reduction in list sizes, decrease for first-year players' salaries and ability to shift money into future years will consume much of the difference for current contracted players. 

Players will be briefed later this week after their agents and key stakeholders were informed of the moves on Wednesday. 

While a vote will be held to ratify the changes, it is expected to go through unopposed.

The changes are only in place for the 2021 season, with 2022 expected to revert to normal in what is the final season of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). 

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Players contracted beyond 2021 will have the opportunity to push up to five per cent of their salary into 2022 and 2023. 

Those who re-signed after the AFL's pay freeze was lifted in July won't be required to take a cut unless it was agreed upon in their latest deal. 

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Players had been bracing of a cut around 10-15 per cent this year after taking a 29.2 per cent decrease on 2020 wages due to COVID-19.  

The nine per cent reduction is only minimal compared to the football department spending which has been slashed from more than $9 million in 2020 to a little over $6 million next season. 


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The maximum list size for next year have been reduced from 47 to 44 which includes the ability to list up to two Category B rookies. 

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The minimum list size for each club will be 37, which can be made up by as little as 36 senior listed players and one rookie. 

To reach 44, clubs can carry 36-38 senior listed players, four-to-six Category A rookies and two Category B rookies.