However, a quirk of the system this year is that the Sydney Swans or Greater Western Sydney — both who have top-10 draft academy or father-son prospects — could trade out their first two picks, and then only have to use a late pick to matchbids for their academy stars. The rest of the points required to match the bid or bids would be subtracted from their 2016 allocation.
Emma Quayle explainsthe new draft system here.
While the scenario looms as an extreme possibility, it nevertheless has some clubs questioning its fairness.
Hawks president Andrew Newbold was so incensed that only four clubs, including the Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane Lions, would be able to use future picks to secure players that he contacted Fairfax Media to express his displeasure.
If that is being mooted, I will be very strong on the fact they can tear up the equalisation proposal. Its breaking one of the conditions that we sat down in good faith and negotiated over, Newbold said.
I am not just wearing a Hawthorn hat here. How do the Bulldogs wear that?
There wont be a war – we just wont agree. Our agreement will end. Well say: We gave you (AFL) an opportunity to do what you said, which was create a pure draft, and you didnt do it. Lets pack up and go home on the revenue share.
Newbold said the Hawks were expected to tip in about $650,000 into the equalisation pool this year, $150,000 of which the club says is self-funded as part of a salary-cap increase. The revenue tax will be reviewed by the AFL after the 2016 season.
The Giants have two highly rated academy players, Jacob Hopper and Matthew Kennedy, while the Swans have Callum Mills.
As part of an agreement by their clubs to support the introduction of the revenue tax, the Hawks and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire have been strong on the need for a pure draft and salary cap. This, in part, has led to the Swans having their cost-of-living allowance phased out.
They (AFL) have got an opportunity here to send a clear message that they are aiming for a pure draft by giving everyone the same opportunity. And if in year one they are saying they are just going to give four clubs that ability, what are they doing? They are creating another exception, Newbold said.
We just wont cop it. We will just tell them: Tear up the competitive balance fund because one of the conditions was a pure draft and you, at the first opportunity, have flown in the face of that.
The AFL is looking at whether clubs must have a minimum points balance heading into the draft in order to participate in bidding.
Bulldogs president Peter Gordon said he was not in a position to comment.
While there is support from players and clubs for the introduction of future draft picks, Newbold has expressed reservations that it could be abused by under-pressure coaches and list-management staff coming to the end of their contracts and more intent on short-term self-preservation.
I think its complicated. We are comfortable with it from our point of view but I dont know that it benefits everyone. I think you are increasing your dependence on your list manager and coach taken a long-term versus short-term view, Newboldsaid.
I am very comfortable Hawthorn wouldnt do that because I have faith in (recruiting chief) Graham Wright and I think we have shown over the last 10 years we are a club that likes to take a longer term view of achieving success. But that is the risk for this particular policy setting.