A new era is beginning in Australia this weekend. The first professional women’s league for any team sport will commence on Saturday. Most of you are thinking basketball, but in fact it’s one of Australia’s biggest sports- Netball.
10 teams from Australia and New Zealand, the world’s two best coutries, will be vying for the title in the inaugural season of the ANZ Championship. The league will be in full swing, having all of their games broadcast live in Fox Sports.
In the initial season, the salary cap will be set at $268,000. This will be spread over 12 players, with the minimum contract being worth $12,000. [Search for the first million-dollar babe starts here] While this is a small amount, it’s a step in the right direction for a league that had been suffering in recent years, with players often having to pay their way to compete.
What will interesting is to see how high the profile of netballers will increase. There are already some household names. Liz Ellis, who recently retired, had media commitments in the latter stage of her career. Irene Van Dyk from NZ has endorsements off the court too. She is believed to be earning over $100,000.
Flamini talks hits a hurdle
Contract talks have broken down with promising midfielder Matthieu Flamini. The 23 year old is currently reportedly on €1m and was offered twice that for his new contract. In a sport where stars receive much more, it will be interesting to see whether Arsenal fight to retain the star, especially with Italian powerhouses Juventus and Milan waiting to swoop. [Juve & Milan Fighting over Flamini]
Luck of the Irish
Late last week the top 10 Irish sports stars list was released. On first thought, one might think that a soccer player would head the list. But alas, it is former F1 driver Eddie Irvine. He has amassed a net worth of an estimated €245m, with less than 25% of that being made from F1. [The Rich List Sports Stars] In second place is former soccer player turned manager Roy Keane, on €73m.
Of the current list, there is quite a broad breakdown. 2 in Motor Sport, 3 in Golf, 4 in Soccer and even a Jockey.
No measly amount for Beasley
Remember this time last year, prior to the NBA Draft, how figures were being thrown around about how much the top draft picks would earn? Well, then look no further than Michael Beasley. The Kansas State player is on top of everyone’s mock drafts, and Darren Rovell over at CNBC predicts a big future for him. [Sportsbiz]
Class of ’04 – Who will make the cut?
Staying on basketball, the NBA draftees on 2004 are coming to the end of their rookie contracts, and Sports Illustrated has done a great job of dissecting these player’s contracts and whether they’ll be playing at their original teams next year.
Also, Gilbert Arenas still wants to opt out of the last year of his contract, for less pay? [Arenas will take pay cut to return to Wizards]