As he enters his final months in charge, Richmond president Gary March has lashed his Hawthorn and Collingwood counterparts, taken a swipe at Sydney and questioned the integrity of the competition.
March said he was ”absolutely flabbergasted” Hawks president Andrew Newbold and Collingwood’s Eddie McGuire recently suggested the best manner in which to help struggling clubs, such as Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, was to allow them to have an enlarged salary-cap next season.
”I couldn’t believe what Andrew Newbold and Eddie were coming out with a couple of weeks ago. I was flabbergasted to think that two presidents would say a way to fix the Melbourne problem was to give them two more million dollars in the salary cap,” he said. ”That just creates a problem which we already have got, which is inflation in football. That will have the inflationary effect of players being overpaid and that just filters through the competition. I was absolutely flabbergasted by that. I don’t know what they were thinking, because that is not going to fix the problem.
”What is going to fix the problems at those clubs is really good administration, good boards, good direction, good drafting, good development.”
March had attended earlier this year a meeting of power clubs at Silks restaurant at Crown, featuring the likes of Newbold and McGuire, where they discussed the best way to handle the equalisation debate.
”I don’t know how it [more money] fixes Melbourne’s problems. They go and buy one extra player. To get any player out of any club, you are going to have to pay them more than they are getting at the moment,” March said on SEN. ”There is an inflationary effect with that and ultimately that filters through to your total list.”
March did not attend this month’s presidents’ meeting in Canberra, where McGuire and Sydney chairman Richard Colless again clashed over the Swans’ contentious cost-of-living allowance.
However, March’s stance on the issue, and the Swans’ ability to secure high-priced former Crow Kurt Tippett, is clear.
”Where there is a ‘disequalisation’ in the salary cap, a la Sydney, I think that’s a problem for the competition,” he said.
”That is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed. When you look at the financials for 2013, and the premiers of the competition are forecasting to make a loss, if any of the Melbourne clubs forecast to make a loss and then went and paid $800,000 to get a player in, we would be getting hauled in front of the commission.
”For me, I think there is a problem with the integrity of the game with the way the expansion teams, and I put Sydney into that, can administer their businesses as opposed to the Victorian clubs.”
March also opposes any club seeking a priority pick, which is now awarded at the discretion of the AFL Commission. The hapless Demons sought this pick on Friday.
March revealed the Tigers were now debt-free and his successor later this year would come from the current board.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.