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The Big Deal Weekly: Port rolling the dice, AFL directors' stress, swimming's fallout with Gina Rinehart, PNG to NRL?, NBA's big moves, Premier League salary cap & more
Newsletter no.56, 25 October 2023
The AFL Trade Period is over! Plenty went down, while the AFL cycle continues to turn with talks about next year’s trades and free agents, plus the Melbourne Football Club’s dilemmas.
Meanwhile, the NBA has been busy, while the governing bodies of our cricket and swimming are making some questionable calls.
Tune in to the episode with Tredders and Huddo below or scroll down for the weekly notes.
GOING, GOING, GONE
The AFL Trade Period wrapped up with a ton of deals getting done, including four for Port Adelaide.
The Power traded out all bar one of its picks for this year’s draft and young talent Xavier Duursma to land Ivan Soldo, Jordon Sweet, Esava Ratugolea and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher.
Are the Power rolling the dice on their future by trading away their picks?
SEE YA IN A YEAR
There’s already talk about Bailey Smith being on the way out of the Western Bulldogs. Yep, already.
An ‘80 per cent chance’ likelihood of going, according to reports. A lot can change in a week, let alone a year.
Meanwhile, the free agency list is already being looked at - Hugh McCluggage, Tim English and Andrew McGrath some of the headline acts.
We’re already into 2024 mode.
TREDDERS’ TALKING POINTS FROM AFL
Is Melbourne of the early 2020s resembling West Coast of the late 2000s?
How important is culture to get right for success?
AFL club directors left sweating ahead of class action lawsuits
Listen to the audio wrap to get the full breakdown
CRICKET AND SWIMMING IN STRIFE
Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa have all-fielded informal inquiries from T20 franchises who are looking to employ cricketers for a full 12 months.
This is after Cricket Australia declined to offer them multi-year deals.
Franchise cricket is eyeing world-domination, and Cricket Australia isn’t offering multi-year contracts to some of the white-ball stars.
Meanwhile, Swimming Australia is facing expulsion from the sport and mega-sponsor Gina Rinehart has walked away.
Over the years, Rinehart has put more than $60 million into Olympic and Paralympic sports, and still sponsors 92 elite swimmers.
SA’s sponsorship has plummeted from $10 million to just over $3 million a year after she pulled her backing two years ago.
Sort it out.
PNG TO NRL?
Don’t ever tell us sports and politics don’t mix.
Papau New Guinea is in the box seat to become the 18th NRL side, after a potential NSW team lost $11 million in government funding.
The funding was promised by the Perrottet Liberal Government, which was ousted at the last state election, and was scrapped by new Labor premier Chris Minns.
At federal level, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has financially backed PNG to join the NRL, which will help improve international relations.
Albanese has reportedly privately indicated the government is prepared to help underwrite a team for up to $25 million a year.
A bit has been going on in the States with the NBA…
Giannis Antetokounmpo agreed a three-year $186 million USD contract extension
Ends possibility of entering free agency in 2025, there for duration of Damien Lillard’s new deal.
NBL MVP Xavier Cooks waived by Washington Wizards - could he return?
Duop Reath waived by Portland, but signed two-way deal.
Aussie Josh Green signed a three-year $41 million USD deal at 22-years-old.
Spurs set to debut Victor Wembanyama.
Wemby’s impact has seen Spurs’ national TV presence increase from four times a season to 19 times.
Spurs have received 4000 new season-ticket deposits and generated the largest number of overall season-ticket accounts in franchise history.
EMBIID JOINS SKECHERS
Joel Embiid is finalising a deal to endorse Skechers, as a the first athlete in its new basketball division.
He has reportedly tested out the sneakers with brand representatives at 76ers practice.
Knicks forward Julius Randle and LA Clippers’ Terance Mann also expected to join.
Skechers currently have deals with Harry Kane and Matt Fitzpatrick.
AMAZON EYES NBA
Amazon is eager to recreate the dominant Thursday Night Football package it has with NFL.
Amazon has agreed to pay $1 billion yearly for Thursday Night Football through to 2033, and now they’re eyeing NBA for either Tuesday or Thursday nights.
Beginning with 2025-26, the NBA is seeking an estimated $50 billion to $75 billion for its next cycle of long-term media rights.
A PREMIER LEAGUE SALARY CAP?
Discussions are underway among league officials for a potential hard-cap structure.
The league is already subject to UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations, which were designed to ensure financial solvency for clubs.
Could this kill the Premier League though, with the dominance of Saudi Arabia, plus neighbouring European leagues?
MESSI SUCCESS AND NEYMAR BREAKDOWN
Leo Messi has been an elite recruit for Inter Miami…
Ground breaking numbers for MLS
Attendance has hit the 10.4 million mark, could reach nearly 11 million - surpassed last season’s record figure of 10 million.
League-record seven clubs should break attendance records.
Four clubs sold out every regular-season match.
$20.4m USD with Inter Miami, a base salary of $12m USD, with further cash in guaranteed bonuses and signing on fees.
Including Apple, Adidas and Fanatics, Messi contract sees him take home around $60m USD a year.
Next highest is ex-Napoli star and Italian winger Lorenzo Insigne, who collected $15.4m USD from Toronto FC.
Third is ex-Liverpool winger and Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri - $8.1m USD.
Meanwhile for Neymar, it’s not all sunshine.
The Brazilian winger has injured his ACL playing for Brazil, so his Saudi Arabian side will be paying him $160m AUD with him out for eight months at least.
Brazil’s medical staff are hopeful he’ll be right for next year’s Copa America.
UGLY US GRAND PRIX
Two disqualifications, a booing and a failed team strat for an Aussie.
Daniel Riccairdo came to rue a failed team strategy from AlphaTauri as he settled for 17th place - his first race since returning from a broken hand.
He made a strong start in 15th, climbing as high as seventh, but eventually fell.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton was stripped of second place and Charles Leclerc of sixth place after a post-race technical inspection.
It revealed both their cars were set up to run lower than allowed according to regulations. Both drivers, same breach. Outrageous.
And eventual winner Max Verstappen was booed. Gee whiz.
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