With the AFL revealing on Tuesday night that nine players earned $1 million or more in 2019, there has been some debate as to who the nine are.
Lance Franklin, Dustin Martin, Nathan Fyfe, Scott Pendlebury, Josh Kelly, Jeremy McGovern, Tom Boyd, Tom Mitchell, Andrew Gaff, Patrick Cripps and Marcus Bontempelli are the names that have been thrown up at this stage, but with player wages private we will likely never know for sure.
Former Essendon captain Tim Watson looked through the names mentioned above and believes two of them stand out as players, in his opinion, not worth $1 million.
“It raises my eyebrows. If it’s somebody who you don’t believe would be that player, it would raise your eyebrows,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“I would be surprised if Andrew Gaff (was one of the nine). To my mind, he’s not a million dollar per year player.
“If I’m paying a million dollars and that is the highest price I’m going to pay for a player in my team, I’m not giving it to somebody who does what he does.
“I wouldn’t be paying (Josh Kelly) that either.
“You want the guy you’re paying the big money to really influence the game, not be the guy that just picks up the 30 or 40 touches – I don’t see Kelly as that guy.
“I might be wrong, that’s just my opinion.”
Former Port Adelaide midfielder Kane Cornes maintains his belief that player wages should be public.
“I don’t know why we can’t release the names of these players,” Cornes told SEN SA Breakfast.
“I’ve been huge on this for ages. We are already speculating about who the names are. All of the papers are doing it.
“Wouldn’t it be better to just tell us who they are, rather than speculate?
“The players are against their wages becoming public, but all the big sports do it and it’s time the AFL does it to cut out the speculation.”
The average player wage in 2019 was $363,000.