With the decision by the AFL to suspend the 2020 season until at least May 31st due to the coronavirus crisis, players have voluntarily halved their pay for the next two months as the league and its clubs look to cut costs due to the competition’s closure.
The pay cuts have been applied to all 850 of the AFL’s players. However, the AFL is wanting further cuts with Sam McClure saying on Channel Nine’s Footy Classified that the AFL is wanting players to take a further chunk out of their pay in order for the league to be viable.
“Tonight at AFL House, that has not gone down particularly well. It’s not enough [of a pay cut] according to highly-placed league sources,” he said.
Channel Seven’s AFL reporter Mark Stevens said the players are okay with taking a 50 per cent pay cut, but the league is pushing for a 70-80 per cent pay cut.
Additionally, 80 percent of the AFL’s full-time employees are being stood down until at least May 31st. The 20 percent of staff who remain in work have also agreed to a pay cut by 20 per cent.
The 18 AFL clubs have also begun to cull their staff with 70 percent of staff set to be stood down across all clubs.
Richmond player, Jack Riewoldt spoke on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 saying members of staff from his club being temporarily out of work is devastating.
“To have the majority of them be told that they’ve got nothing to go home to basically for the next ten weeks – maybe never – it’s bloody hard. You get emotional,” he said.
After today the players will be unable to return to their clubs for at least five weeks as the AFL shuts down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.