The AFL is inching closer to sorting out a pay deal with the players during the coronavirus shutdown and beyond.
However there’s still one major sticking point in the negotiations.
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Foxfooty.com.au’s Tom Morris reports the players aren’t sure about giving up a percentage of their pay beyond May 31, because they don’t know if they’ll be playing or not.
It’s also unclear how contract dates will impact on the negotiations, given the AFL year ends on October 31.
“The main sticking point is beyond May, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Morris told Fox Sports News’ AFL Tonight.
“What the players want, and what the AFL is absolutely keen on getting, is a percentage for June, July, August, September, October.
“And then the added element to this is – what happens if the season progresses beyond October 31? Because the contracts finish on October 31. So if you’re a player playing on December 15, or closer to Christmas, what are you being paid? Because that’s technically next year’s contract.
“The main sticking point is what happens beyond May 31, and at the moment there’s no resolution. I believe it’s getting closer but it’s absolutely not there yet.”
The question is why the players would agree to losing a fixed percentage of their wages, if they could possibly be playing games at that time.
“It’s a bit of a quid-pro-quo. The AFL wants fixed percentages so they can then get a line of credit from the bank,” Morris said.
“They want to know how much the players are going to be earning so they can go to the bank, get the money and then distribute all the money to the clubs.
“But the players are saying, we don’t know when we’re going to be playing, so why should we be guaranteeing ourselves a certain percentage – in case we are playing, and then we’re getting paid less than what we deserve as footballers.
“At the moment, the players just want more information, and the AFL just hasn’t given them that.”