Nine AFL player earned more than $1 million last year, according to AFL.com.au.
Richmond’s Dustin Martin and Sydney’s Buddy Franklin headline the list, reportedly earning more than $1.3 million each.
Amongst the other six that are above or around the seven-figure mark include Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe, GWS’ Jeremy Cameron, West Coast’s Jeremy McGovern, Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury, Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield, Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli, Eagle Andrew Gaff and Carlton’s Patrick Cripps.
After leaving Port Adelaide in 2018, North Melbourne recruit Jared Polec signed a large front-ended deal that placed him amongst the top earners in 2019.
The official figures, to be released later this week by the AFL show that one player who did not play in 2019, also received more than $1 million. 2018 Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell signed a revised deal last year after suffering a broken leg that ruled him out for the year while 2016 premiership hero Bulldog Tom Boyd received a settlement after retiring mid-season with multiple years left on his multi-million deal.
Last year’s group of nine players over seven figures matched the record number set in 2017 and bested the six in 2018.
Other significant earners for 2019 were Geelong’s Joel Selwood, Essendon’s Dyson Heppell and Dylan Shiel, Brisbane’s Lachie Neale, Carlton’s Mitch McGovern and Gold Coast’s Lachie Weller.
Star West Coast ruckman Nic Natinui signed a reduced deal last year for the 2020-2022 season which will take him out of the significant earners category after being in the million-dollar-club in previous seasons.
GWS star pair Stephen Coniglio (signed to 2024) and Toby Greene (2026) are expected to receive at least $1 million at some stage during their current deals. Carlton off-season recruit Jack Martin is expected to join the million-dollar club after signing a heavily front-loaded five year deal in November. Another off-season recruit, St Kilda’s Brad Hill, will also see a significant rise in 2020 after a multi-million dollar trade move from Fremantle.
The average wage for a listed AFL player rose to a record $363,430 last year, up from $362,471. For players that featured at AFL level, the average was also a record at $401,552.
In total, $242.3 million was spent in 2019 on gross player payments across the 18 clubs, up 0.8 per cent on 2018.
AFL 2019 SALARY BREAKDOWN
Salary — Number of players
0-$100,000 — 31
$100,001-$200,000 — 166
$200,001-$300,000 — 124
$300,001-$400,000 — 123
$400,001-$500,000 — 107
$500,001-$600,000 — 48
$600,001-$700,000 — 42
$700,001-$800,000 — 29
$800,001-$900,000 — 16
$900,001-$1,000,000 — 7
$1,000,001-$1,100,000 — 4
$1,100,001-$1,200,000 — 3
$1,200,00+ — 2