MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 19: AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh speak to the media during an AFL press conference at Marvel Stadium on May 19, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The AFL and the AFL Players' Association have announced details of a new five-year collective bargaining agreement that was officially signed off on Thursday.

The CBA, which will run until the end of 2027, will see the men's and women's players receive boosts of 10 and 29 per cent in pay respectively as the AFLW undergoes a 77 per cent increase in player payment by the conclusion of the new deal.

2022 saw the average salary for AFLW players at $49,000, with that figure to sit close to $87,000 by 2027.

On top of the raised player payment, the AFLW season will see an increase in matches played per season, with 12 rounds to be played in 2025 and potentially 14 rounds in 2027, based on league metrics. 12-month contracts will become a certainty for players, while some will have the option of signing multi-year contracts.

The average player payment for AFL players is projected to rise to $519,000 by 2027, up from $387,000 in 2022.

First-round draft selections will sign three-year contracts to commence their careers, up from two-year deals for National Draft selections.

The CBA will also see a new broadcast policy implemented along with a joint committee to ensure a safe working environment for players, while discussion around a mid-season trade period will continue between the AFL and its players.

"The new CBA provides certainty to the players for both competitions, it recognises their impact and contribution in continuing to make sure we have the greatest game in the world," AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said, via AFL.com.au. 

"Our AFLW players receive another immediate boost after an historic 94 per cent increase last season, and the opportunity is ahead of the competition to continue to grow in length if we can reach some key support metrics that have been achieved before.

"Together we will focus on expanding crowds and TV audience for the women's competition while working to engage more women and girls to take up football."

AFL/AFLPA collective bargaining agreement details

AFL

  • 10 per cent increase in base pay in 2023.
  • 37 per cent increase in pay over the life of the deal.
  • Average player salary to increase from $387,000 in 2022 to $519,000 in 2027.
  • Three-year contracts for first round draftees.
  • Regulated payments for third year players.
  • Player leave has increased based on the last CBA.
  • Five-day breaks provide greater flexibility in fixturing – including more Thursday night games.
  • Injury and hardship fund ($40 million boost) - $60 million over five years, up from $20 million.
  • Discussions on a mid-season trade period to continue with clubs.

AFLW

  • 29 per cent pay uplift for AFLW players effective immediately.
  • AFLW season length to increase to 12 rounds in 2025, potentially 14 rounds in 2027 based on achieving key metrics
  • The AFLW Total Player Payments inclusive of Base amount is more than $32.3 million for 2023, compared to $25 million for Season Seven and $10.4 million in Season Six.
  • Clubs will continue to be required to ensure there are minimum levels of medical, physical preparation and high-performance staff resourcing to allow AFLW players to prepare for matches and training sessions more efficiently.
  • AFLW players will receive increased certainty with 12-month contracts implemented, and the ability to sign multi-year contracts – the same as the men's AFL competition.
  • A world leading 12-month pregnancy policy, commencing from six weeks before a player's due date, will be immediately introduced as will increased investment into player support and welfare.

OTHER

  • Increased access to players for media and broadcast via new broadcast policy to be introduced.
  • All AFL players in the 23 named from the week before to be available to media in the week after their match.
  • Player relocation and travel benefits will be equitable for both AFL and AFLW players who relocate states.
  • A joint committee will be set up by the AFL and AFLPA to ensure a safe working environment for all players.