Female star’s money demand divides footy
AFLW star Tayla Harris could reportedly be lost to football over a $150,000 dispute with her club Carlton.
The 24-year-old is the most high-profile player in the league, but after a hot and cold 2021 season her worth to Carlton has been put under the microscope.
The Herald Sun reported Wednesday night, Harris is asking for the club to double her salary as a result of her star power.
However, the report claims the club has started negotiations with Harris' manager Alex Saundry, but there are no signs of the stand-off being reconciled.
Footy commentator Eddie McGuire said on Wednesday night there is a solution to the dispute - calling on the AFL to cover the bulk of Harris' salary under the justification of the marketing power she brings to the sport.
It would leave Harris as a singled out player, given special treatment, but McGuire believes it is the only way to resolve the issue.
McGuire also revealed Harris is planning to return to the boxing ring in 2021.
She hasn't stepped into the ring since November 2019 when she beat Janay Harding via TKO.
However, it is another bargaining chip up Harris' sleeve as the pressure builds on Carlton to strike a deal.
According to The Herald Sun, Harris received a base salary of $25,000, but received a package of around $80,000 for other work she did at the club.
Her new asking price comes after reports teammates were unhappy about Harris' performance and attitude in 2021.
She was last month accused of having "skewed priorities" after she left Carlton training to post on Instagram.
Reports claimed she walked off the training track early so she could post a photo promoting a documentary Amazon Prime is making about her life.
She did not play for Carlton the following week, prompting speculation she was dumped from the team.
However, McGuire and her manager have declared Harris' worth is reflected in the publicity she brings to the AFLW.
"What does that mean for football? I think her manager is saying: 'Hey, she's going to be bigger than Christmas and if you want somebody this big in women's' football (you must pay). She may not be kicking seven goals every week, but she has a statue in Federation Square, she is going to be a hero to hundreds of thousands of people,'" McGuire said, on Footy Classified.
"My boxing people tell me she's a good chance to win this world title and if she does, she's off the charts as far as being a superhero in Australia."
McGuire said Harris, is looking at two boxing events this year, including a world title bout.
"I can tell you exclusively tonight that Tayla Harris will be back in the ring on the 19th of May on a Sonny Bill Williams card and that will be a run round before she goes into full training," McGuire told Footy Classified.
"My information tonight is that Tayla Harris will fight for the world boxing title in August this year."
He said the AFL now needs to step in to keep her involved in football
"The AFL, not Carlton, needs to look at whether you need to keep these people in the game.
"It becomes a marketing exercise, it's got nothing to do with her football, it's a pure marketing exercise," he said.
"She is an icon already in many facets of her life and who she is and the way she plays the game.
"Is she worth $150,000 to play footy? No. Is she worth it for the game itself and what she's going to bring to the table? I think she's a superstar - and I think the AFL have to look at that."
Originally published as Eddie speaks after $150k divides footy