Voss questions massive price for Hunt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Voss questions massive price for Hunt

By Jim Morton 31/05/2010 05:33:31 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss has slammed the AFL for offering massive contracts for code-jumpers to promote the game rather than investing more in junior programs.

While Karmichael Hunt was carrying out his first official duty as a contracted player with expansion club Gold Coast on Monday, Voss said it was "ridiculous" the former league fullback would be paid more than current AFL stars.

Hunt has signed a $3 million deal over three years with the Coast while his former Brisbane Broncos and Queensland teammate, Israel Folau, is weighing up a similar offer from Greater Western Sydney.

Voss, who knocked back the chance to be Gold Coast's inaugural coach, said he supported such projects to gain publicity and growth, but not at the price it would cost the league.

"Is it really worth us paying that much to be able to get that though?" he said.

"I genuinely hope (Hunt) makes it but the fact we're adjudicating the project on how many articles he gets in the paper as opposed to how many games he plays in the AFL then I don't get that."

Speaking as a past player, the three-time premiership captain said the AFL Players Association was within its rights to demand far higher salaries after the next broadcasting rights agreement.

"We were forever told (by the AFLPA) about the investment in the game that players had to make and we would always put some of those interests behind and game development was exceptionally important within the AFL so we did that," Voss said.

"What we thought we were investing in though was Auskick and under 10s and under 11s and under 12s.

"What we didn't expect to be investing in was two players who would become the highest paid players in the AFL. That just seems ridiculous to me.

"Our true entertainers, and the players that need to be rewarded more than anybody else, are the current players that play AFL.

"If I was on the AFLPA right now I'd be looking at the next broadcasting rights and saying we need a little bit more money.

"Clearly the game can afford it."

Voss's comments come after AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou on Friday said the investment in Hunt - which sits outside Gold Coast's salary cap - had already paid off due to the massive media interest it had generated.

GC chief executive Travis Auld on Monday praised Hunt for his professionalism in front of the cameras, and insisted he deserved his big pay packet for the responsibility that came with promoting his new code.

"Every time he has got in front of a camera and every time he's got behind a microphone there's a big tick from me," he said.

"He's very humble and he's got a lot of work in front of him. I couldn't be more impressed."

Hunt denied he felt under any extra pressure to make his transition work, but admitted he faced the toughest challenge of his career.

The 23-year-old said Folau, who is undecided about his future, had the talent to also make the leap across codes but wouldn't attempt to persuade him one way or the other.

"He definitely has the skill set to make the transition," Hunt said.

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