by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
While the AFLPA and players may view the new free agency rules as a chance for players to go home, find better opportunities with other clubs or get a fresh start elsewhere, not everyone sees this as a good thing, Some believe it will only make strong clubs stronger and leave poorer clubs in the lurch as they may not be able to match the asking price of wealthier clubs for star players.
Former Sydney coach Paul Roos was interviewed by Fox Sports describing free agency as "Better clubs getting better and lesser clubs getting attacked". He said it was a "sad day for football" and posed the question of how the lesser clubs would replace star players they lose under the new rule. Collingwood president Eddie McGuire agreed with Roos in an interview on Triple M radio, saying good players would go to the bigger clubs and the smaller clubs would lose out. Geelong football manager Neil Balme (a former Melbourne coach) was also critical of free agency, saying it would come at a cost. In an interview on SEN radio, he pointed out the camaraderie and spirit of Sydney during the Grand Final and commented, "Do you reckon they’ll be able to engender that if people are making commercial decisions about their footy career? It’s certainly a change to what we really expect our players ... and ... our clubs to do. We probably have to accept the reality that it should be a little bit easier for players to move, but I think there is a cost to it. It’ll definitely be a bit inflationary."
Source: Herald Sun
Article last changed on Friday, November 02, 2012 - 11:30 AM EDT