The AFL and AFL Players Association have come to an agreement regarding the salaries the players will receive this year.
The COVID-19 crisis has forced the 2020 season to be postponed until at least May 31 and with that comes enormous financial ramifications.
80 per cent pf AFL staff are on leave without pay or have lost their jobs while leading executives, including CEO Gillon McLachlan, have opted to take significant pay cuts.
The AFLPA have been in negotiations with the league all week and have now finally reached an agreement which will see the players paid up to 70 per cent less during the year.
A joint statement from the AFL and AFLPA read:
The AFL and AFLPA today reached agreement on a deal for players to take a reduction in their salary for the rest of the year of up to 70% as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Under the agreement, the AFLPA has agreed that:
AFL Players to take a pay cut of 50% to the end of May and a pay cut beyond that of up to 70% if games are postponed for longer and 50% when games are resumed.
Players have agreed to play until the end of December to provide flexible scheduling if required to complete the remaining 144 games plus finals of the Toyota AFL Premiership season.
Further grants to the Association be cancelled until the end of October, which equates to more than $8m and includes payments for Injury and Hardship, Retirement Account, Player Development and Wellbeing, and Operating Grants.
A $250,000 grant will be delivered for the AFLPA to provide ongoing mental health and wellbeing services as well as financial advice given players’ changed circumstances and a $500,000 grant to be paid to allow AFLPA to assist players in financial hardship.
The AFL and AFLPA will also continue to work through implications for the current CBA and changes beyond 2020.
McLachlan said: “I know it has been tough on everyone in football but it was important that we come together to get through this crisis. We have a long way to go but the actions of the players helps footy find a way through.”
While AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh added: “The players have moved quickly to come to agreement with the AFL and the outcome is a fair one.
“It’s a complex situation and whilst there have been many discussions between the AFL and ourselves this week, they have been constructive and collaborative, and I thank Gill for his support through this. We will come through this a stronger industry despite the adversity we all currently find ourselves dealing with.”