COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire has urged AFL decision-makers not to “screw the players” amid ongoing pay negotiations during the competition’s shutdown period.
Players have offered to take a 50 per cent pay cut while clubs are out of action, with the competition on hold until at least May 31.
However, it is believed the AFL is not satisfied with that figure, with News Corp reporting the league will push for a 75 per cent cut in the coming months as the league faces the biggest financial crisis in its history.
“This is not a union dispute,” Collingwood boss McGuire said on Triple M on Tuesday.
“This is not people trying to get into it and claim a scalp … the situation is that the players have received money for this half of the year, because that was fair enough, everyone’s getting paid.
“It’s the next part of the journey that we have to get through until we actually start playing games again and we can get some money coming in.
“The Channel 7 money, the Foxtel money stopped this week. It’s finished, it’s all over.
“There’s no gate receipts, the AFL is cutting through its costs, all the clubs are cutting through their costs, and we have to come to an elegant situation here… if there’s no money, there’s no money.
“We need to not screw the players at the same time.
“These are the centrepiece of our game, they’re wonderful people, they’re great young men, and we have to do the right thing.”
Players would likely have to take even bigger wage cuts if the remainder of the 2020 season was abandoned altogether, which remains a distinct possibility in uncertain times.
The AFL and its 18 clubs have had to slash staff numbers by roughly 80 per cent in a brutal phase of job cuts.
AFL executives, including chief executive Gillon McLachlan, are taking a minimum 20 per cent pay cut.
All remaining staff at the AFL will have reduced hours during the season’s suspension, while casual workers have been let go.
© AAP 2020