Carlton have been urged to consider signing AFLW forward Tayla Harris to a lucrative contract extension amid her highly-touted return to boxing in 2021.
Harris is set to re-enter the ring for a tilt at the world title at some point this year, with former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire backing the AFL and the Blues to accept the 24-year-old’s high-fee demands of a reported $150,000 contract for next season.
That pay-grade would make the key-forward one of the league’s highest earners and would be close to doubling her current deal of $80,000, which is split between her football contract ($25,000) and marketing/employment deals.
Harris’ manager Alex Saundry told The Herald Sun that his client is “worth over six figures to the game”, which has been scrutinised given her poor 2020 campaign.
McGuire suggested that Harris’ marketable value exceeds her current pay deal and form, suggesting that the Blues foot the bill on her lucrative demands.
“My information tonight is that Tayla Harris will fight for the world boxing title in August this year,” McGuire said on Footy Classified.
"Can the game afford that at the moment?"
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) May 5, 2021
“I think her manager is saying ‘Hey, she’s going to be bigger than Christmas and if you want somebody this big in women’s’ football (you must pay).
“She may not be kicking seven goals every week, but she has a statue in Federation Square, she is going to be a hero to hundreds of thousands of people.
“It’s got nothing to do with her football, it’s a pure marketing exercise. She is an icon already in many facets of her life and who she is and the way she plays the game.
“Is she worth $150,000 to play footy? No. Is she worth it for the game itself and what she’s going to bring to the table? I think she’s a superstar, and I think the AFL have to look at that.”