THE SCALE of COVID-19 inflicted financial carnage on AFL players has been revealed, with the game's official accounts revealing just four footballers earned more than $900,000 from the 2020 season.

With a 29.17 per cent cut across the board due to the pandemic, Total Player Payments slumped to 2012 season numbers - $170 million in 2020 ($242m in 2019).

The average player wage for 2020 (698 players, rookie-listed players not included) was $260,000, a dramatic drop from the 2019 average ($363,000).

>> Click here to download a full breakdown of the Total Player Payments

It is believed the four players on $900,000-plus in 2020 were Jeremy Cameron, Lance Franklin (who didn't play a game), Jack Martin, who after crossing from Gold Coast to Carlton had a very heavily front-ended deal, and Dustin Martin.

Superstar Tiger Dustin Martin with all his bling from the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

Cameron, now at Geelong, had a back-ended deal with Greater Western Sydney last year.

Nat Fyfe and Jeremy McGovern were also likely among the game's biggest earners in the COVID-19 hit season.

In the 2019 season, 16 players were paid $900,000 or more.

The 2020 Total Player Payment figures were released to clubs on Friday.

2010 - 2020 Summary of AFL Player Earnings >> Scroll across    
             
Earnings 2010 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020
  Played Listed Listed Listed Played Listed
             
$0 - $60,000 9 1 1 0 0 0
             
$60,001 - $100,000 67 38 24 31 47 113
             
$100,001 - $200,000 153 152 159 166 165 189
             
$200,001 - $300,000 158 140 136 124 134 142
             
$300,001 - $400,000 91 148 145 123 124 131
             
$400,001 - $500,000 45 89 88 107 58 60
             
$500,001 - $600,000 9 53 49 48 38 40
             
$600,001  - $700,000 8 34 46 42 13 13
             
$700,001 - $800,000 2 23 24 29 4 4
             
$800,001 - $900,000 2 9 15 16 1 2
             
$900,001 - $1,000,000 4 11 10 7 1 2
             
$1,000,001 - $1,100,000 - 4 2 4 1 1
             
$1,100,001 - $1,200,000 - 3 1 3 1 1
             
$1,200,001 + - 2 3 2 0 0
             
TOTAL 548 707 703 702 587 698
NB: Details listed under heading "Played" relates only to Primary listed Players who participated in at least one senior match during the season. 
        Details listed under heading "Listed" includes all Primary Listed Players
       Earnings are Total Player Earnings including ASA's.  
In 2020, a decrease in player payments arose due to the 29.17% reduction in payments agreed with the AFLPA as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.