Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
We should be delighted that all is far from well in AFL land following yesterday's so -called "coup" in signing up Israel Folau.
And we should be grateful to the Broncos CEO, Bruno Cullen, for his contribution.
Clearly the AFL had a vested interest in the actual amount being paid to Folau for switching to the Greater Western Sydney AFL team not being the focus of yesterday's PR stunt.
Bruno Cullen has revealed that the Broncos did not come within a "bull's roar" of matching what the AFL had on the table. The Broncos, with third party agreements added, could probably have come up with $600,000 a season.
Cullen revealed the deal Folau agreed to is around $1.5 million a year for four years. That will make him easily the highest player in the game - even though he has never played AFL.
Is it any wonder that Brendan Fevola, and others, have complained? The deal effectively gives Folau double what is paid to most top-line AFL players!
AFL "sources" are today trying to down-play the $6 million man claim. But if there is one person who would know what the AFL was offering - that is the Broncos CEO.
When it was apparent the Melbourne Rebels union team were out of the running, the race for Folau came down to a two way contest between the Broncos and the AFL.
It stands to reason that the Broncos would have been given a very good idea what they were up against!
And, as much as the AFL will be unhappy the figure is out there, $1.5 million is clearly accurate or very close to it. And we can expect even more unease in AFL ranks as a result!
It is also apparent that much of the $1.5 million a year is meant to maximise favourable coverage for the AFL in Sydney - and Western Sydney in particular.
One would have thought the AFL would, at the very least, have "coached" it's million dollar plus PR stunt before he fronted the media for the first time!
But, like the Karmichael Hunt announcement 11 months ago, it was something of a PR disaster. When asked the obvious question