Now, it should be said before we start that the vast majority of AFL players are extremely well paid. Most of them are quite rich, in fact. It’s just that they’re not bullshit rich. Not in the same way that, say, NBA or NFL players are. So it might shock you to learn that, despite being some of the most prominent professional athletes in the country, only six AFL players had salaries that exceeded $1 million last year.
New data released by the AFL confirmed that just six players managed to crack the million dollar mark across 2018; a figure that’s actually down from the 9 whose paycheques tipped over seven figures the year prior.
While the league didn’t release any names attached to those figures, it’s strongly believed that 2018’s Millionaire Club members are Lance Franklin of the Sydney Swans, Nat Fyfe from Fremantle, Richmond tough sticker enthusiast Dustin Martin, Greater Western Sydney’s Jeremy Cameron, and Tom Boyd from the Western Bulldogs, whose large salary easily makes him the wealthiest VFL player of all time.
Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury was among the millionaires in 2017, but his salary dipped down into the $900,000’s in 2018 due to front-loading on his contract. Very tall West Coast Eagle Nic Naitanui is also believed to have pulled in around $900k last year.
Of those six that did manage to pull in seven figures, three raked in a well in excess of $1.2 million, making it the most amount of players to ever be paid that much in a single AFL season.
The average total wage for an AFL player in 2018 was $362,471, which was an increase of $10,000 from the previous year’s median pay.
Just one poor sod in the AFL last year earned below $60,000, with the largest amount of players falling in the $100,001 to $200,000 pay bracket.
Of course, these figures represent the pure football-related payments made by clubs to players, and don’t include any potential advertising or endorsement dollars being raked in. Which likely means there are at least a handful of AFL players currently kicking around with fuck you money.
Still, in the grand scheme of pro-sports salaries, this is all practically peanuts.
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Image: Getty Images / Ryan Pierse