THE AFL has secured a line of credit with banks which will allow it to operate through the coronavirus crisis.

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It is believed the total amount of the loans, derived from negotiations with NAB and ANZ, is more than $500 million, and could be as high as $600 million. 

This is the first step in the battle to save our game but we have a long journey to go

- AFL CEO Gill McLachlan

The AFL announced the funding on Monday, three days after striking a restructured pay deal with the AFL Players Association.

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On Monday last week, the AFL itself and all its clubs were forced to stand down at least 80 per cent of staff.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the line of credit would assist in the turmoil of the coming months.

NAB, ANZ TO THE RESCUE Read the full AFL statement

"I want to thank the NAB and the ANZ for their support but I also want to stress that while this is a relief, it is not a return to business as usual or a release valve," McLachlan said.

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AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan speaks to AFL.com.au's Damian Barrett after the new agreement was reached

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"The football community is, like businesses across every sector, still very much in the financial fight of its life with the losses this year stretching to many hundreds of millions of dollars.

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"What this means is we have a chance to get through but we will only get through this period if we are united as an industry and every one of us at all levels of the AFL continue to make the hard decisions to drastically and urgently cut costs."

The AFL Players Association on Friday reached a deal with the AFL that revolved around 50 per cent pay cuts for players for April and May, potentially stretching to 70 per cent if matches are unable to be resumed.

"To repeat what I said when the AFL Commission made the decision to suspend the 2020 season, this is the most serious threat to our game in our history," McLachlan said.

 "This week the AFL stood down 80 per cent of our national workforce until Sunday May 31, with all remaining roles moved to reduced hours of three or four days a week.

"All 18 clubs have taken similar steps and the players have agreed to reduced payments to both save the national AFL competition and preserve the future of the game we love at community and grass roots level."

The AFL was able to leverage its ownership of Marvel Stadium, potentially worth $1 billion, in the dealings with the banks.

"This is the first step in the battle to save our game but we have a long journey to go," McLachlan said.

Twitter: @barrettdamian