Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich says the club is not surprised at the structure of the AFL’s five-year funding package announced yesterday given the need to meet players’ wage demands.

The league’s governing body will provide $1.1 billion for the 18 clubs under a funding and equalisation plan aimed at giving a leg up to the poorer clubs.

About 60 per cent of the package will be devoted solely to player payments.

Of the remainder, a new $144 million club future fund is the centrepiece and will go to areas such as facilities, football departments, sponsorship, fan development and debt reduction.

A total of $58.5 million from the fund will be equally distributed in $3.25 million payments to each club.

Another $48 million will be allocated over the next three years depending on need, with the remaining $37 million not yet assigned and to be distributed in 2015-16.

The Dockers and West Coast will each receive $4.25 million, having each been granted an extra $1 million on a special needs basis.

Rosich said the bonus payment would be spent on the club’s proposed training and administration facility upgrade at Fremantle Oval.

“The AFL has many competing demands for funding and we understand the process the AFL has gone through to arrive at the final distribution amount,” Rosich said in a statement.

“Given the proposal that the AFL has put to the players, we are not surprised by the end result of the distribution to the clubs.”

An Eagles spokesman confirmed their funding would also go towards a blueprint for their own facility upgrade.

Two off-field battlers, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, were the big winners with $10.2 million each.

Hawthorn, Geelong, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney were deemed not to need any extra payments beyond the base $3.25 million.

The AFL’s figures are based on players receiving the offered package of $1.144 billion over five years.

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou said the aim was to leave a legacy in 18 strong, viable football clubs.

“We heard throughout the past few months from our clubs and others that they were sick of having 13 strong clubs, two that are OK and two or three that continue to struggle,” he said.

 

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