AFL news 2023 | Scott Pendlebury believes AFL players are underpaid, Scott Pendlebury, Josh Giddey, Tom Mitchell podcast
Collingwood Magpies stalwart Scott Pendlebury has revealed one issue he’d change around the AFL, stating his belief players are ‘heavily underpaid’.
Pendlebury – a 365-game veteran – was speaking with teammate Tom Mitchell and Australian NBA star Josh Giddey on the Ball Magnets podcast, and was hypothetically asked what he’d change as AFL CEO.
“I still think the players in our game and the coaching staff are heavily underpaid and everyone will go ‘you get paid so much as players’ … I think the executive team in the AFL are the highest paid people in the game, which is fine, but there’s no other league anywhere where the executive team is paid more than the players,” he said.
READ MORE: Smith, Slater spotted plotting Storm ‘ambush’
READ MORE: Rabbitohs poach Latrell’s teen star cousin from Knights
READ MORE: Stray dog takes down cycling race favourite
The Collingwood star’s main argument came from players’ inability to interact in cities without being recognised.
“I think of a guy like (Magpies youngster) Nick Daicos, (Tigers superstar) Dustin Martin, they cannot live normal lives in Melbourne, they can’t, (it’s) not even possible to go out,” he said.
Clarkson fumes at racism investigation
Mitchell added he had that exact experience when going out with Giddey.
“We had a dinner last night and every second person (came up to us),” he said.
As the NRL continues to negotiate its own collective barganing agreement (CBA), Pendlebury believes the AFL is at risk of being left behind by other codes, which could affect the retention of players at a grassroots level.
“I feel like if you’ve been a good player in the AFL for a long period of time, you’ve got to reward these guys,” he said.
“We don’t want cricket, rugby, all these sports to start to overtake how much they’re paying their best players because then we’ll lose kids to that sport.”
The 35-year-old also pointed to the almost 25 per cent difference between the AFL and NBA in each organisation’s revenue models.
“I’ll get shot down (with people saying) ‘players are greedy’ … (but) in NBA you guys get 51 per cent of revenue of what you bring in, we’re 28 per cent of revenue,” he said.
NBA players are currently projected to earn between a total of $45 billion and $50 billion in salaries and benefits during the seven-year term of the CBA between the organisation and the players union that was signed this year.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!