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New AFL Player Pay Deal Reached, While AFLW Awaits Confirmation On 2021 Season

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urrent AFL players will be asked to take 3.5% pay cut, as part of wider cuts communicated last week.

It comes as the total salary cap – including the additional services agreements (ASA) – will be slashed by 9% next season from around AUD$14.5m to AUD$13.1m.

Current list sizes will also be reduced, along with a decrease for first-year players’ salaries.

This will create the ability to shift money into future years which will consume much of the difference for current contracted players.

Players will be briefed later this week after their agents and key stakeholders were informed of the moves last week.

While a vote will be held to ratify the changes, it is expected to go through unopposed.

The changes are only in place for the 2021 season, with 2022 expected to revert to normal in what is the final season of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Players had been bracing of a cut around 10-15% for 2021 after taking a 29.2% decrease on 2020 wages due to COVID-19.

The 9% reduction is only minimal compared to the football department spending which has been slashed from more than AUD$9 million in 2020 to a little over AUD$6 million next season.

Meanwhile, the AFLW competition is set to return in February, however players could be forced into hubs for the upcoming season as the league attempts to get the competition back up and running.

There is some complexity surrounding the season, with most AFLW players having jobs outside of football and therefore might struggle financially if they’re away for long periods of time.

AFL chief executive officer, Gillon McLachlan, said: “We need to have contingencies for the uncertainty.”

“We know that we need to have a fixture out in the first week of December, that’s the latest they can wait before they make decisions about work, their employment.

“If we need to we can go into hubs, our preference is not to, but we’ll have the contingencies together in case,” he said.

Women footballers are awaiting a decision for the 2021 season, after the 2020 season was scrapped due to the Coronavirus.