|Sport||Australian rules football|
|Jurisdiction||AFL, controlled entities and affiliates.|
|Headquarters||AFL House, 140 Harbour Esplanade, Melbourne Docklands|
|Replaced||Australian National Football Council|
The AFL Commission is the official[who?] governing body of the Australian Football League Limited (AFL), its subsidiaries and controlled entities. Richard Goyder has been chairman since 4 April 2017, replacing Mike Fitzpatrick.
The AFL Commission is responsible for the administration of the AFL competitions and its constitution self-proclaims the commission to be the "keeper of the code" responsible[to whom?] for the sport of Australian football. It was formed in 1985 as the VFL Commission, and gained its current name in 1990 (in conjunction with the renaming of the competition). The AFL Commission took over the role of the Australian National Football Council in 1993, and in 2005 also replaced the International Australian Football Council. The ten commissioners are elected by the 18 AFL clubs, with each of the 18 clubs entitled to make nominations but other Australian Football leagues, associations and clubs not having any control or representation.
The Commission was formed to set policy and has directed the VFL/AFL (known then as the VFL) as the game's most professional league since December 1985.
In 1993, the AFL Commission assumed control of the AFL from the AFL Board of Directors (in effect, the 15 AFL clubs at that time). Subsequently, the Board of Directors voted itself out of existence, and a new Memorandum and Articles of Association were adopted for the AFL. It also assumed national governance of the sport (see Principle 2 below) when it absorbed the ANFC.
This was a significant change of power, as between 1985 and 1993, the Commission had required explicit approval by a 75% vote of the League (the teams) for major items such as further expansion, mergers, relocations, and major capital works.
The AFL also created an International Policy in 2005, and absorbed the International Australian Football Council, thus gaining control of the sport worldwide.
In its role as national and international governing body, the AFL Commission also controls and delegates development funding for Australian state and international bodies and leagues. As most of this funding is sourced the revenue and activities associated with the AFL competition, much of the funding is directed to the competition's developing markets. Semi-professional state competitions are generally self-sufficient, and receive a much lower percentage of the AFL's funding.
The AFL Commission has a simple structure. There are formal corporate titles for members which currently consists of a chairman whose role is to oversee meetings and a Chief executive officer who typically also oversees the operations of the Australian Football League.
Commissioners are elected by the 18 AFL clubs, who each are entitled to make nominations. Should an election be necessary, then the membership is decided by a vote of the AFL clubs. Under the current constitution, member clubs have the power to veto commission decisions with a two thirds vote.
Current membership of the Commission is:
|Gillon McLachlan||Chief Executive Officer||2014|
|Major General Simone Wilkie||Commissioner||2015|
|Professor Helen Milroy||Commissioner||2018|
The AFL Commission has also become involved in Australian Football League matters on occasion, both on and off-field. Sometimes these interventions have been in controversial circumstances.
The commission has become involved when players or a club bring the game into disrepute, including:
The AFL Commission has a role in undertaking assessments of expansion clubs and awarding new licences including:
The Commission owns a stake in the Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney clubs.
The AFL Commission manages a special fund called the Competitive Balance Fund (CBF) since 2004 as a grant of up to $5 million per club to ensure that member clubs remain financially viable.
The system was later changed to the Annual Special Distribution (ASD) of $6.3 million shared among all clubs, as well as allowing for grants and special concessions, such as payments, to ensure that the AFL member clubs remain viable in the short term. In 2006, the Commission approved a $2.1 million special financial assistance package for Carlton.
In response to clubs increasingly relying on and applying for special funding, in 2008, the Commission recommended removing the fund altogether, but after considerable club protests led by three struggling clubs, the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and North Melbourne, CEO Andrew Demetriou announced that the ASD would remain.
In early 2009, it increased Melbourne's assistance from $250,000 to $1 million and made a $1 million grant to Port Adelaide.