AFL announces major changes to soft cap

November 10, 2023 BY

Making moves: New AFL CEO Andrew Dillon has announced changes to the way club’s account for a senior coach’s salary. Photo: CON CHRONIS/ AAP IMAGE

AFL clubs have been given a major funding boost for season 2024, including the provision that 20 per cent of a senior coach’s salary now sits outside the soft cap.

The league announced last week that the soft cap would be expanded by an additional $250,000.

Clubs will also be able to spend more on a senior coach to “recognises the prominent role senior coaches have as leaders and ambassadors for their clubs and the code,” a league statement said.

With the senior coach provision, some clubs could have their soft cap expanded by upwards of $400,000.

There have also been changes to the luxury tax, meaning clubs who go over the soft cap by less than $1 million won’t be penalised as much as in past seasons.

Staff relocation deductions and clubs’ ability to carry forward up to $100,000 of unspent soft cap room to the following year have also been announced.

It’s one of CEO Andrew Dillon’s biggest moves since officially taking office in late October.

“Following on-going discussions with club presidents, CEOs, senior coaches and clubs, I am pleased to announce we have addressed a number of challenges and themes surrounding the soft cap,” Dillon said in a statement.

“The changes are aimed at providing more flexibility and support as we continue to return back to a position more reflective of pre-COVID times.

“The establishment of the senior coach deduction recognises the prominent role they play as leaders and ambassadors for their clubs and the sport. We know this was important and we worked closely with the senior coaches to achieve the best outcome we could for 2024.”

The changes are welcome ones for clubs, who have been crying out for more assistance with assistant coaches and football department staff.

It comes after the league reported an operating profit of $20.7 million in 2022.