AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has offered to match the pay cuts taken by the players.
McLachlan yesterday told AFL Players’ Association chief executive Paul Marsh that he would sacrifice the same amount of cash as the players and over the same period.
The show of goodwill looms as a potential circuit breaker as talks between the two parties struggle to reach common ground.
McLachlan and Marsh remained in frequent contact over the phone yesterday.
The players had offered to take a 50 per cent pay cut for the next two months, which stunned the league as it battles to limit losses during the coronavirus shutdown.
The AFL wants the players wages to be slashed by 79 per cent, prompting AFLPA president Patrick Dangerfield to demand the league open its books to give the players “greater clarity around the finances of the game”.
It is understood the AFL executive are unlikely to budge on their 20 per cent pay cuts, with that pay cut set in place indefinitely. The 12-person board has an average salary of nearly $900,000.
McLachlan’s gesture is said to have gained the respect of the AFLPA player delegates. Sources at AFL headquarters said McLachlan was working 20 hours a day, seven days a week, to guide the game through the crisis.
His salary was last disclosed as $1.74 million three years ago.