AFL CLUBS are in the process of slashing $3 million from their soft cap expenditure by the start of next year, on instruction from League headquarters.
Each club's soft cap expenditure will drop from $9.7 million to $8.7 million for this season as a result of the coronavirus crisis, then will go down again to just $6.7 million for 2021.
It's believed about 80 per cent of the soft cap is spent on staff salaries, meaning mass cuts across the industry, which have already begun.
Club football departments will be reduced to 'skeleton' staff over the shutdown period which will be mostly uniformed across the competition.
AFL.com.au revealed last week that all 18 senior coaches had offered to take a 20 per cent pay cut, even before AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan's confirmation on Sunday of the League's shutdown until May 31.
That came after an email from AFL Coaches' Association boss Mark Brayshaw, who warned of "deep pay cuts" for coaches and how it was "unreasonable to expect the players to sacrifice their wages without coaches also taking a pay cut".
Brayshaw also acknowledged in the same email the discussion of "lay-offs, forced holidays and redundancies".
Clubs have already started standing down assistant coaches – among others – without pay, in large part because they are typically left without any annual leave (because it is used in the off-season).
Some coaches also have pay-out clauses written into their contracts, usually ranging from three months to six, depending on the length of the deal.
It's also understood the League is in the midst of a range of conversations with clubs about raising additional funds.
AFL.com.au believes the AFL is contemplating an industry shutdown similar to QANTAS, which has temporarily stood down two-thirds of its 30,000 staff until at least the end of May.
The idea is those staff will resume their positions once activities return to normal but they will be able to seek government assistance in the meantime..