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International funding arrangements by the AFL

  • Thursday, September 15 2005 @ 02:41 am ACST
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General News

The AFL funds quite a number of countries to pursue Aussie Rules programs. However the level of that funding is often a source of debate, with most countries naturally wanting more. The Age writer Caroline Wilson wrote an interesting article on August 14th about the future for South Africa and gave a breakdown of the major funding targets.

The story discusses development in South Africa and the mixing together of black and white players from very different backgrounds - well known to our readers but not so the wider Australian public. She writes about Mtutu, the new Buffaloes coach who first came to footy with Sturt (an SANFL side) and is spending time in Melbourne learning more about AFL programs. A dream is to have an Aboriginal team tour Africa, and Michael Long is cited as an inspiration.

The article also breaks down the AFL's annual development funding (in $AU):

Australia $29 million
New Zealand $150,000
South Africa $100,000
USA $90,000
PNG $45,000
Other $115,000

(Overseas total $500,000)

The "Other" is presumably spread between Denmark, Canada, Great Britain, Samoa, Japan, Ireland, Germany and possibly Nauru and Spain. In addition around AU$100,000 was spent on the International Cup. Other support occurs in-kind. It is clear that increasingly the AFL will encourage nations to firstly show they have robust programs in place, then they will provide more funding, primarily for junior development, and will also push for alternative revenue streams to be found, like government funding and commercial sponsorship. The international funding pie is still relatively small, although revenue is f course mostly generated from within Australia currently. But once some international draft picks are found, expect the purse strings to loosen a little further.

The full article is "Union in Aussie rules" and can be found here (a login may be required).