The Big Deal Weekly: Trade whispers, AFL's biggest deal, 100-day sacking & more
September 12, 2022
Welcome to The Big Deal!
It’s where sports fans are taken into the boardroom for behind the scenes access and analysis of contracts, negotiations, endorsements and more.
Footy legend Warren Tredrea along with Andrew Montesi, Dion Hayman and special guests will bring you the fascinating stories of what’s really going on behind closed doors when your favourite players sign on the dotted line, whether it be a new club, a new contract, a new sponsor or a wad of cash from their new boot suppliers.
We want to build a platform and a community where we bring all of this insight and information into one, central location.
We’ll bring you breaking news, a weekly newsletter wrapping up the big deals and a weekly podcast (coming VERY soon!) featuring exclusive interviews that break down exactly who and what make the sporting world tick.
Whether you’re into the big hits or the big dollars .. you’ll love The Big Deal.
IN THIS WEEK’S WRAP OF THE BIG DEALS
Tredders’ Trade Whispers
The AFL’s biggest deal
The A-League’s double-edged sword
NFL SuperBowl ads selling like hotcakes
Chelsea’s 100-day sacking
Norwegian star shines at Manchester City
On-field performances cost NZ Rugby off the field
In Retrospect: Broadway for Babe
Meet the team behind The Big Deal
Got a Big Deal you want to share? Get in touch
TREDDERS’ AFL TRADE WHISPERS
Izak Rankine could earn more money next season than any other player in the game. The five-year deal offered by the Crows is heavily front-loaded meaning he will be paid around $1.5m in the first season. The contract offer averages out to around $850k over the duration of its term.
GWS is clearing the decks and paying the price for overpaying some of its star players. The Giants will reluctantly trade out Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper to free up salary cap space with Richmond leading the race for both of their services. It comes after the Giants agreed to an eight-year deal at $1.2m per season for Josh Kelly that doesn’t expire until 2029. Lachie Whitfield signed a 7-year extension to take him through to age 33 while co-captain Stephen Coniglio signed a 7-year extension in 2019. The odd man out is Toby Greene who is arguably the Giants’ best player and is locked away until 2026. He’s on good money but not as much as some of his peers.
AFL clubs are salivating about the chance to cash in on the League’s new bumper TV rights deal. Clubs want greater distribution of TV money to pay off Covid loans that all but five clubs took out with the AFL. They’re also expecting more money in footy department soft cap budgets which were significantly cut by around 30% during the pandemic. The clubs will also push for a salary cap rise in excess of 10%.
Josh Dunkley will earn up to $250,000 more per season if, as expected, he requests a trade to Port Adelaide. The Bulldogs are flush with midfielders and have been underpaying the midfield hard nut. And while they would like to retain him, their new contract offer is just under $400k per season, compared with Port’s bid of between $600-650k. The Lions are also interested and North Melbourne has come late to the table. But Dunkley was in Adelaide over the weekend and is expected to nominate the Power as his destination of choice, driven largely by his desire to unite with girlfriend Tippah Dwan who lives in the city and plays netball for the Thunderbirds.
AFL CHEERS TO THE BIGGEST DEAL IN THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN SPORT
They said it couldn’t be done but Gil McLachlan’s parting gift to the AFL is a whopping $4.5b TV rights bonanza making it the biggest deal in Australian sporting history.
It extends Seven’s and Foxtel’s exclusive broadcasting terms for a further seven years from 2025.
And it effectively rescues the game from the perilous situation of just two years ago where the Covid-interrupted 2020 season saw many club coffers exhausted and some threatened with extinction if games couldn’t be played.
The new deal equates to $642m per season, a 35% hike on the value of the rights for the next two seasons, and nearly two and a half times the $260m per season that Seven and Foxtel shelled out between 2012-16.
When Nine took the rights off Seven for five years between 2002-06, they paid just $100m per season.
While Seven was paying just $17m a year during much of the 1990s.
The new deal is likely to pay the way for Tasmania to finally have its own team.
It will also earn the AFL around $3m for every game, that’s $750,000 per quarter or about $25,000 per minute.
NRL CLUBS CRY FOUL IN WAKE OF MONSTER AFL DEAL
The NRL and Foxtel look set for some tense discussions in the wake of the AFL’s new monster TV deal.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that NRL clubs believe a verbal agreement between ARLC chairman Peter V’landys and Foxtel chief Patrick Delany could obligate the pay-TV provider to “top up” the new rights deal signed in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.
Foxtel paid around $200m per season for the seven-year deal at the time.
Its share of the AFL deal is believed to be just shy of double that.
The verbal agreement is believed to be a commitment prohibiting Foxtel from signing a more lucrative deal with another code, without compensating the NRL.
A different number of games and other exclusivity add-ons makes it difficult to compare the two deals side by side.
Neither side is yet commenting on what could be another awkward round of negotiations.
DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD IN NEW A-LEAGUE DEAL
It’s not just the AFL cutting deals with Football Australia coming to terms with Network Ten and its owners Paramount, renegotiating their A-League broadcast plans.
The men’s competition will double its free-to-air score with Ten upping its live coverage from one game per week to two.
But those games will be relegated from Ten’s main channel, finding a new home on 10 Bold.
They will be scheduled in the friendly timeslots of 7.45pm Saturday nights and 3pm Sundays.
The balance of men’s games will be available on Paramount+.
The news isn’t quite as encouraging for the women’s league which loses its only weekly match on 10 Bold, finding a new home on the network’s streaming service 10 Play.
It’s the first time the ALW (women’s A-League) won’t appear on free to air television since its inception.
It’s a significant shake-up just one year into a five-year deal worth $200m.
Poor free-to-air ratings are being blamed for the changes as more people access streaming services.
NFL SUPERBOWL ADS SELLING LIKE HOTCAKES
If you think the AFL’s asking price is big, they’re not even in the same hemisphere as the NFL.
The American season has only just started and already FoxSports US has almost sold out of all advertising inventory for February’s Super Bowl.
So what’s an ad cost in 2023? A lazy $AU10.2 million for a 30 second slot. That’s an all-time high!
For context, the 2022 Super Bowl generated just under $650 million in ad spend. All in a day’s work.
Experts believe there’s more demand than ever before due to the rise of commercial-free streaming services, which has left fewer places for brands to advertise.
BRIGHTON’S POTTER REPLACES TUCHEL AT CHELSEA
One hundred is such a lonely number.
Chelsea sacked manager Thomas Tuchel, just 100 days into the reign of its new ownership regime led by American billionaire Todd Boehly.
The German lasted only 12 hours after the Blues’ 1-0 Champions League defeat by Dinamo Zagreb.
Curiously, it was Tuchel’s 100th and final match in charge.
It seemed he was sticking around after being given a license to spend by the new owners.
There was nothing lost in translation with Tuchel stretching their pursestrings to the tune of £260m.
It was the biggest spend by an EPL club in one transfer window.
Tuchel’s desperate attempt to reel in the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool was headlined by the acquisitions of Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Wesley Fofana.
But he baulked at the owners’ desire to see Cristiano Ronaldo join the ranks.
That combined with a less than certain start to the new EPL season appear to have led to his demise.
The new signings are all Graham Potter’s inheritance now.
The Brighton manager signed a five-year contract with Chelsea worth more than £50m.
That term seems optimistic in the extreme given the last Chelsea manager to survive that long was Dave Sexton who lasted seven seasons before the Blues were relegated in 1974.
Boehly’s consortium have also had to find around £16m to appease high-flying Brighton for poaching their gaffer.
As for Tuchel, who won the Champions League in his debut season at Stamford Bridge and was contracted until 2024, he walked away with a £13m golden handshake.
NORWEGIAN STAR SHINING BRIGHTLY AT MANCHESTER CITY
Even at £51m (€60m), Erling Haaland is looking like the biggest steal for many a season.
That’s what Manchester City forked out to activate a release clause to prise him out of Borussia Dortmund during the northern summer.
The Citizens were forced to pay the fee in one lump sum which may have warded off a few of Haaland’s admirers.
But one can’t help but think Dortmund has sold themselves short after a blistering start to the Premier League season that makes that fee look like loose change.
The Norwegian marksman needed just five games to register two Premier League hat-tricks, slicing 16 games off the old mark set by Newcastle’s Demba Ba.
Ten goals in his first six games is something the likes of Alan Shearer, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole, Thierry Henry, Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and Mo Salah could have only dreamt about.
Haaland’s real trade value is now somewhere between €68-114m according to footballtransfers.com.
Although we doubt even nearly double that figure would have City’s owners blinking now.
Let’s not forget the world record transfer fee was an eye-watering £190m (€222m) when Brazilian superstar Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona in 2017.
He’s banged in 76 goals from just 98 appearances since then.
Haaland’s well on track to putting those numbers in the shade and make himself the biggest bargain in soccer history.
He’s not even the most expensive player in the City side.
The blue half of Manchester sent £100m (€117m) to Aston Villa for Jack Grealish last year.
ON-FIELD PERFORMANCES COST NZ RUGBY OFF THE FIELD
When professional teams play badly, the impact is felt in the back office. They know this too well at New Zealand Rugby.
US Private Equity firm Silver Lake was set to invest $122 million into NZR CommercialCo (New Zealand Rugby’s commercial arm) at a valuation of $3.5 billion.
But after a string of losses from the world’s most successful rugby team, the All Blacks, the deal is now on hold, according to Bloomberg.
It might be hard to fathom, but poor form has a tangible, commercial impact on brand value as well as the share price, and it is causing a re-think at Eden Park.
IN RETROSPECT: BROADWAY FOR BABE
Everyone’s heard of Babe Ruth.
He was one of the five inaugural inductees into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1936.
And he won three World Series with the Boston Red Sox before they almost inexplicably traded him to the New York Yankees!
Well Babe (born George Herman Ruth Jr) was, shall we say, a bit tempestuous.
The Sox had been looking to offload him and their fall from grace in 1919 was all the reason they needed, along with owner Harry Frazee’s desire for some funding for his new musical!
Frazee produced Broadway shows and needed some coin to finance his next big hit.
Hence Ruth was shipped off to the Yankees for $100,000.
That’s still only about $1.4m in today’s money.
It was a cash deal involving no players going the other way which was unusual even then.
Effectively, Babe Ruth went for a song.
The Yankees, who had that time had never won anything, went on to become the most dominant franchise in the game, winning 27 World Series, the first four with the Bambino on board.
Things didn’t pan out quite so well for the Red Sox who went 84 years before finally breaking the “Curse of the Bambino”. They’ve eased some of the pain by winning a further three championships since 2004.
THE TEAM BEHIND THE BIG DEAL
Warren Tredrea - A veteran of the AFL game and media, Tredders has done it all. He played 255 games and booted 549 goals with Port Adelaide from 1997-2010. He held the premiership trophy aloft as captain of the Power’s only premiership in 2004. He was named All-Australian in four successive seasons from 2001-04, led Port’s goalkicking eight times, won their best and fairest four times and captained the club in his own right from 2006-08.
He’s represented South Australia and Australia and been named in the Halls of Fame of the SANFL (2012), Australian Football (2014) and Port Adelaide (2018).
Since his knee finally gave up on him, he’s worked in TV, radio and print and developed a reputation as a consistent news breaker along with one as a highly respected football analyst and commentator.
Andrew Montesi - With a penchant for knee and shoulder reconstructions, Monty’s footy career never went beyond the SANFL magoos but he has remained immersed in sport for most of his working life.
He worked in media at the Adelaide Football Club before joining 9 News as a Sport Reporter. As an entrepreneurial utility Monty then turned his focus to business, marketing and tech.
He helped Matthew Pavlich and James Begley build and grow sports tech startup, PickStar, worked with many elite athletes and players’ associations on player brand development, while also launching his own media and marketing agency.
Dion Hayman - Terrified of getting hurt on the football ground, the worst cricketer and golfer he’s met and capable of getting sunburnt 51 weeks per year, Dion chased off-field sporting glory.
He started out at the SANFL, pumping out the Football Budget where he also published his own stats book on the League’s footy records.
He went on to work at The News, one of Australia’s last afternoon dailies, before spending the next three decades as a TV sport journalist and producer at Channels 7 and 9, including working at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Got a Big Deal you want to share? Get in touch
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