RICHMOND has put forward a full list five per cent pay cut to its players as the Tigers look to keep their premiership dynasty intact.
The Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn have also joined the list of clubs who have had their players accept increased pay cuts as some clubs grapple with the revised total player payments, while others, such as Grand Finalists Geelong, have chosen to stick with the mandatory cuts.
Tigers players are understood to have broached the subject of increased pay decreases last week as the AFL's deadline for total player payment estimations edges closer (other contract variations are open until mid-year).
As AFL.com.au has revealed, West Coast and St Kilda led the early charge on their players agreeing to seven per cent pay cuts across the list in a move to deal with the salary cap reductions for this year.
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The League last year slashed the salary cap by nine per cent to $13.17 million after COVID-19 wreaked financial havoc on the game, but the mandated drop was just 3.5 per cent for players.
However, under the agreed upon cuts with the AFL Players' Association, some players faced nine per cent cuts depending on when they signed their most recent contract.
Clubs have then been forced to work through new pay models with players, with some approaching big-name players to defer payments to later in contracts to ensure they are under the cap this year.
Others, like the Eagles and Saints, asked their players to take a higher cut to ensure the financial pain was evenly spread in a single year.
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Although a deal has not been formalised, the Tigers are also understood to be negotiating along the same lines but at a smaller rate as they aim to keep together their star-studded group together with seven premiership players qualifying as free agents this year, including Jack Riewoldt, Shane Edwards, David Astbury, Dylan Grimes and Nick Vlastuin.
A five per cent cut would mean superstar Tiger Dustin Martin could forgo up to $60,000 of his contract, which is estimated to average between $1.2-3 million over its seven-year timeframe.
The Bulldogs have agreed to a 5.5 per cent pay chop across their list in a collective move – rookies and players on their first contracts are not subject to the increased pay cuts – while Hawthorn has also increased its cut in a deferment model.
That will see the Hawks take nearly seven per cent this year but be given back approximately 2.5 per cent pay next year, with the deferring a preferred structure from some clubs.
Adelaide is also in discussions with its players on a model, while Carlton has used a hybrid set up of increased pay cuts and deferrals.
The Cats head the list of clubs that have stuck to the mandatory cuts enforced by the AFL, applying the formula as set out by the League, which includes the ability to shift five per cent of players' salaries into 2022 and beyond.
The AFL's mandate means that some players are affected worse than others depending on when they signed their latest contract.
Brisbane, Essendon, Fremantle, Port Adelaide, Sydney and Greater Western Sydney are among the other clubs who have not enacted increased list-wide pay cuts, although some clubs have smoothed out their caps by recontracting players to longer deals rather than asking for the uniform approach.