The AFL and AFL Players’ Association (AFLPA) have agreed to a deal that will see all AFL players accept a 50 percent pay cut for at least April and May, and 70 percent from June if the season hasn’t resumed.
The agreement was reached after five days of discussion between the two parties following the AFL’s decision to suspend the 2020 season due to growing concerns of the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan said he appreciates the players being prepared to sacrifice big pay cuts to assist in the long-term health of the industry and the league.
“I want to thank the players for how they handled this,” McLachlan said.
“They have made a decision which will ensure we can keep going.
“This issue has been so complex, so fast-moving and we have been able to achieve in a couple of days what would normally take months,” he said.
AFLPA chief executive, Paul Marsh, said the pay cut deal has provided a sense of certainty during a time where there is almost none.
“It wasn’t a negotiation, we just had to find a solution to the problem; there are no winners,” Marsh said.
“We were able to get some certainty on what happens if we play, and also if we don’t play.
“We will continue to deal with what is in front of us.
“The players have been rocked by what has transpired all over the world in recent weeks and want to play their role to ensure that our great game comes through this strong and united.
“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 [Gillon McLachlan] for his support through this.
“We will come through this a stronger industry despite the adversity we all currently find ourselves dealing with,” he said.
It was also revealed along with the deal that it was the uncertainty attached to the likely return to playing and the attendance of spectators that caused complications with the negotiations.
As the discussions progressed over the past week following the AFL’s decision to suspend its season, there was an industry-wide commitment to play matches through to the end of December if necessary.