A Melbourne radio host has targeted Collingwood opener Josh Daicos for his remarks comparing conditions for professional athletes in the AFL to those in the English Premier League.
The 24 year old told the Herald Sun that he was “pretty flat” after seeing Premier League teams’ world-class facilities up close during a playoff trip to the UK.
“Going to Europe and Tottenham, I saw the treatment they were getting, and I was pretty flat about the treatment we’re getting,” Daicos said.
“It’s quite astonishing the disparity of wealth there.
“They were telling me that when they practice, and obviously it’s pretty cold when they play, they have heaters to make sure the ground isn’t frosty.
“So we don’t get that kind of treatment. »
Tom Elliott countered Daicos’ view, however, highlighting the inherent differences between the AFL and EPL with three points.
“I’m not sure what planet some AFL footballers think they live on,” Tom Elliott said on 3AW Drive.
“Josh Daicos seems to be lamenting the fact that as an AFL footballer he doesn’t earn nearly the same kind of money as an English Premier League footballer or soccer player.
“The AFL, derived from the old VFL, is a provincial football code.
“This only happens in this country, okay? This is the first point.
“Point 2. It’s not even played across Australia, in Queensland and New South Wales. It really is a minority sport.
“Yes, it’s growing in popularity, but it’s not as popular as rugby league, okay?
“Point 3. We have a salary cap here, okay? Because we have a club structure, we cannot afford to play what the players ask for.
“So we have a salary cap, while the EPL and American football teams are owned by billionaires.
“They will continue to put money into this situation until they get the result they want, which is a Premiership.”
He also clarified that Daicos may not have known that the average English Premier League player earns almost $6 million, while the average AFL player’s salary is around $400,000, which is barely 7% of that of its EPL counterparts.
The 3AW host also highlighted the uniqueness of football as a global sport watched by billions of people around the world, comparing it to Australian rules football.
“As good as Australian rules football is, and I personally believe it is the best code of football in the world, it is not watched by billions of people on planet Earth.”