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Split in women's football reaches flashpoint over lack of level playing field

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The AFLW is facing a split with the AFL Players Association as the level of disenchantment with the structure of the 2020 competition and beyond reaches flashpoint.

Football sources suggest key player delegates representing the majority of the 14 clubs, who have refused to sign the three-year collective bargaining agreement put to them by the players' union, are seeking independent legal advice regarding their workplace equality rights.

The 2018 AFLW grand final attracted a crowd of 58,000.Credit:AAP

Some senior players believe the AFLW could be better served by establishing their own players' association.

The level of frustration and disappointment was underlined on Thursday by the resignation of gender workplace advocate Prue Gilbert from the AFLPA's women's football advisory group.

Gilbert is understood to have told players chief Paul Marsh she could no longer serve on the advisory group after the players' union had failed over four years to deliver a level playing field for the national women's competition.

The women's key grievance is that the AFLW premiership cup and the integrity of their competition as it enters its fourth year has been devalued by the AFL's refusal to stage an even competition. The majority of players remain determined to play every team once. There is a fear that the AFLW season could be accused as more akin to an exhibition tournament.

With the pre-season just two months away and no start date for the AFLW season announced, key delegates told Marsh they felt they were being pressured........

© The Age