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Pay Deal Done

Pay Deal Done

THE ugly stand-off between the AFL and its players is over with the two parties reportedly agreeing to a pay deal for the coronavirus shutdown.

Multiple outlets are reporting that players will take a 50 per cent pay cut until at least May 31 because of the COVID-19 pandemic halting the competition after just one round.

The deal will be reassessed in eight weeks and how much money the players eventually earn will depend on how many, if any, games are played this year.

An official announcement from the AFL and AFLPA is imminent.

Roughly 80 per cent of AFL and club staff have been stood down without pay this week as the league desperately tries to cut costs as it braces for a loss of revenue that could be as much as $1 billion.

The players came in for some stinging criticism, notably from AFL legend Leigh Matthews, for rejecting the 79 per cent pay cut request from league headquarters.

With jobs being slashed in industries across the country, Matthews told 3AW that he had lost respect for the players after they tabled the offer that was quickly rejected by the AFL.

In a peace offering, AFL boss Gillon McLachlan offered to match the reduction in player salaries.

Geelong coach Chris Scott went a step further and pledged to work for no pay while the season is paused.

The new pay deal will attempt to account for several contingencies, which include a shortened 17-round season that extends past the traditional end-of- September grand final.

The AFL is determined to get some form of season in the books this calendar year, but that scenario further complicates negotiations with player contracts typically running until October.

AFLPA president Patrick Dangerfield urged the AFL to open its books on SEN earlier in the week to allow the players to get a better understanding of the bleak financial picture.

While the players have lost the public relations battle this week, Dangerfield urged people to wait until the final deal is struck before criticising.

© AAP 2020