Would some extra cash help the Suns keep Steven May and Tom Lynch on the Gold Coast? Picture: AAP
Would some extra cash help the Suns keep Steven May and Tom Lynch on the Gold Coast? Picture: AAP

Cash call with Suns set to lose stars

THE AFL has been urged to give Gold Coast up to an extra $2 million a year in its salary cap to help save the embattled club.

Leading player agent Liam Pickering said the AFL should revive the controversial cost of living allowance (COLA) to help the struggling Suns retain their star players and attract new talent.

 

Despite an upset win over Sydney on Saturday, Gold Coast remains entrenched in the bottom part of the ladder and faces the loss of superstar goalkicker Tom Lynch at season's end.

The AFL phased out the COLA allowance for Sydney after the club signed superstar forward Lance Franklin in 2013.

But Pickering said the Suns would struggle to rise up the ladder unless the AFL stepped in with a seven-figure salary cap boost.

Pickering, who manages former Suns' captain Gary Ablett, said the Suns "genuinely need help" and would "waste another 10 years" if they didn't receive it.

Could the Suns have used COLA to entice Jaeger O’Meara to recommit? Picture: Richard Gosling
Could the Suns have used COLA to entice Jaeger O’Meara to recommit? Picture: Richard Gosling

"It is at that stage with Gold Coast, especially with these big name players that appear to be looking to go, I would give them exactly what they (AFL) did with Sydney and Brisbane back in the day," Pickering said.

"Call it COLA allowance, and give them an allowance to recruit. (About) $1 million or $2 million extra.

"I don't think they should be paying the same salary cap as everyone else at the moment.

"They definitely need an extra (priority draft) pick at the moment, but I reckon they (also) need more cap room to be able to recruit."

Lynch is tipped to join Richmond, Hawthorn or Collingwood at season's end, following Jaeger O'Meara, Dion Prestia, Charlie Dixon, Josh Caddy and Harley Bennell out the door.

Steven May leads his teammates off the ground after their stunning win over the Swans. Picture: Getty Images
Steven May leads his teammates off the ground after their stunning win over the Swans. Picture: Getty Images

The Suns also face a fight to retain co-captain Steven May, who is being targeted by Collingwood, when his contract expires at the end of next year.

Rival clubs are strongly opposed to the Suns receiving any extra money or draft concessions after lobbying hard to abolish the COLA money in 2013.

Pickering said the early set up at Gold Coast was poor, and was adamant it was time to act.

"They were up against it from the start and that's why they need the help now, because this will continue on," Pickering said.

"If players keep jumping out of the boat, and if they lose their captain (Lynch) this year potentially, and their other captain next year (May) … that puts a massive hole there.

"They are back to the drawing board with the draft with the same amount of picks as everyone else. It doesn't make sense to me.

"They have got to help them now, otherwise we will waste another 10 years.

"This whole crew that are playing now, this talented they have got will miss an era, they miss a whole era of any chance of success."

The Suns have regularly hunted senior players from rival clubs and wanted a premiership player from Hawthorn to be part of the O'Meara deal, but were knocked back.

A Gold Coast spokesman said the club had not applied for extra salary cap money, but the Suns could apply, and are expected to receive, a priority draft pick.



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