Swans head coach John Longmire talks to his assistants in May 2021. Picture: Getty Images

CLUBS are anticipating a rise of up to $250,000 in their football department soft caps next year as the AFL continues to deal with the fallout of another COVID-19 struck season.

The AFL spoke to club bosses on Tuesday for a briefing that included an update on soft cap spending, which relates to football department staffers including coaches, recruiting and list management and fitness and medical areas.

They were informed they were likely to receive a spike of $200-250,000 per club in football department spending for 2022 but no specific details were passed on as the League works through another challenging campaign.


The indications from the League will assist clubs in their planning for how their football departments will be constructed for next year.

The soft cap was slashed dramatically last season by the League as part of the drastic measures to keep the game moving as COVID-19 hit, with club spending cut from $9.7 million to $6.2.

That saw a magnitude of assistant coaches, recruiters and football department staffers lose their roles at clubs during the first year of the pandemic.

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While some clubs had pushed for a larger increase in soft cap spending, there is largely an understanding of the financial implications on the competition in recent weeks due to more COVID-19 outbreaks around the country that has seen expenditure rise in relocating clubs to different states for blocks of time.

There was understood to be little support for a proposal for some of the senior coach's salary to be placed outside of the cap depending on how long the coach had been at the respective club.

Clubs were also briefed on the mental health challenges facing their people and staff in what is proving another delicate season across the game as the finals edges closer.