Clubs historically have controlled player movement. Clubs have demanded loyalty for decades whilst simultaneously conniving to trade or delist a player. So much so that it has been etched in players’ minds that loyalty is paramount and when clubs delist or trade you – well its just their divine right and prerogative, so suck it up sunshine.
Free Agency balances the ledger. It provides players with equal control over their destiny.
Free Agency has taken the “loyalty” card out of the deck.
Traditionalists will be upset, frustrated even angry but their emotions will subside over time. The current generation has already adopted the philosophy. Everywhere they turn, NBA, NFL, EPL………. they have sport stars moving teams and are conditioned to the fantasy.
It will not be long before AFL players are accepted to be joining another club prior to finishing their tenure at their current team.
At the moment there are all sorts of shenanigans going on to placate members, supporters, media and the general public in a ridiculously clumsy facade.
Coaches have said they will not select a player that announces he will be departing the following year. Strong stuff from coaches that tell players they are required in the future and then terminate their services. Why are clubs allowed to trade players and players are not allowed to trade clubs?
If a club has a strong culture, delivers sustainable success and rewards their players fairly across the board it is unlikely they will lose them. In essence apply the mirror principle and look internally if a star wants to leave the building.
Free Agency should encourage clubs to improve their act, make them more attractive and provide a highly professional environment for elite performance.
There will always be clubs that throw the kitchen sink at an individual seducing him into decision. Players are also far more active in the area of understanding “what’s out there?” and “what’s possible?”.
What we have at the moment is an unsavoury transitional period that will smooth itself out with time.