With the league’s trade silly season about to commence, Cornes fears intense speculation surrounding what players earn is about to run rife.
He argues that the AFLPA should relent on its “immature” stance to take the guesswork out of high-stakes deals and allow the media to work with facts.
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“This is how stupid we are. This is how stupid and immature the whole of the industry is. It’s ridiculous,” Cornes told SEN’s SA Breakfast.
“This is where the AFL Players’ Association is so naive. How is it good for the players that their wages aren’t public?
“Give me one reason why it is beneficial for the players. Regardless of whether their wages are public or not, we’re all going to speculate.”
Cornes’ comments on the matter come after the Gold Coast Suns confirmed small forward Izak Rankine has requested a trade to the Adelaide Crows.
The Suns will now spend the next month negotiating with the Crows to reach the best possible deal for the promising youngster
“The talk that Izak Rankine’s deal could be $900,000 – it might be $700,000 – how is that good for Izak Rankine when some people think he’s on $900,000, but he’s really being paid $700,000,” Cornes asked.
“So, he’s being judged as a $900,000 player, but could be on less, but we don’t even know.
“We’ve got the Herald Sun doing their top 100 highest paid players with a whole week-long feature. They could be way off. Max Gawn came out last year and said the Herald Sun was $250,000 out.
“So how is that good? People will read that, they’ll take it as gospel, people will read the Rankine figure and take it as gospel, they’ll judge him behind that.
“People will say he’s the highest paid player in Crows history and he’s going to have to live up to that and the pressure that will create.”
The AFLPA has long opposed making salaries public based on upholding privacy, however Cornes believes full disclosure would eliminate the circulation of misinformation and allow everyone to get on with their jobs.
“Just put your wages publicly out there and everyone will move on and we can actually judge it with facts rather than speculation like we will have to continue to do.
“We’re coming up to what is going to be the biggest trade period of all time, we are going to be guessing about what players are going to be paid.
“Sometimes we will be out by $200,000 like the Herald Sun with Max Gawn and other times we’ll be accurate, other times players will be getting paid a lot less than what we think.
“I think it benefits the players for their wages to be public. It’s a horse I’ve been beating dead for a long time. It’s stupid and immature.”
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