AFL to tighten trade rules after Treloar deadline drama

Clubs will need to outline in detail how much of a traded player’s future contract they are expecting to pay before the AFL approves a deal, after a dispute arose between Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs following the last-minute Adam Treloar trade last year.

Both clubs held firm to their positions a week after the trade had gone through in a deadline scramble as the Magpies embarked on a fire sale on the final day of the 2020 trade period to ease the load on their salary cap.

Adam Treloar was traded to the Bulldogs on the deadline last year, but an actual agreement on how he would be paid took longer to sort out.Credit:AFL Photos

For years the system functioned without major issues via verbal agreements made about how payments of existing contracts were shared between the clubs making the trade.

However, with more complicated contracts and clubs becoming more creative in the way they manage salary caps, the AFL is aware after the Treloar experience that the possibility of disputes has risen.

AFL sources said the league was expected to get clubs to lodge financial arrangements in writing along with the trade details relating to draft picks and players.

This will add time at the front end but save disagreements between clubs after the trade period.

The Western Bulldogs were adamant they had not agreed to pay Treloar more than $600,000 a season for five years, with the Magpies to pay the balance, but the agreement was verbal.

Eventually the AFL intervened to sort the situation out. The result was the Bulldogs paying Treloar $600,000 a season and the balance being made up by the Magpies, who were comfortable in the finish with the impact on their salary cap.

The Treloar deal was the first time it had become an issue for the AFL.

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