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AFL and players agree pay-cut deal through Coronavirus shutdown
With the season currently shutdown, the AFL has announced that players have agreed to take a 50% pay cut until the end of May.
The AFL and the AFL Players' Association (AFLPA) agreed on Friday evening to the revised pay deal while the season is suspended that will see players pay further cut to 70% if the season is delayed beyond 31st May.
Players have also agreed to play matches until December to ensure the men's season is completed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Advising that he was relieved that the league and the AFLPA could reach an agreement following their lengthy negotiations, AFL Chief Executive, Gillon McLachlan stated “the players always understood the gravity of the situation and have agreed to take significant pay cuts to ensure we can keep the industry going.
"This issue has been incredibly complex and fast-moving and we have been able to achieve in a couple of days what would normally take months.
"The players were clear in their commitment to their clubs, to our sport, to ensuring they did what they could to keep the community safe while also agreeing to the necessary agility and flexibility to enable us to play the remaining 144 games and finals of the AFL premiership season."
AFLPA Chief Executive Paul Marsh said the players were always committed to "playing their role in helping the industry move through this challenging time", adding “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 for his support through this.
"We will come through this a stronger industry despite the adversity we all currently find ourselves dealing with."
The AFL players had come in for criticism during the week, with past greats Leigh Matthews and Malcolm Blight among those who voiced their frustration about the players not accepting a larger pay cut.
The AFL is still hoping to have a 17-round season with finals, following the season being postponed after just one round. This will likely mean games are played well past the usual last Saturday in September grand final date.
Another part of the agreement was for grants to the AFLPA, totalling more than $8 million, to be cancelled until the end of October.
That includes payments for injury and hardship, retirement accounts, player development and wellbeing, and operating grants.
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