THE SANFL will effectively operate as an amateur league this year, with players, coaches and umpires working without payment.
Competition chief executive Jake Parkinson confirmed on Sunday no club would be permitted to pay its players as part of the wider push to ensure clubs survive the global coronavirus pandemic.
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The only payments they will receive are from the Federal Government's $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper package.
"The salary cap will be for zero payment," Parkinson told ABC Grandstand radio.
"We're going to have to exclude payments paid through JobKeeper but … quite simply, if it requires players being paid to go on the ground, we couldn't have a season.
"Clubs are just not in a position to make payments to players right across all of our eight clubs, and from the very beginning, we've said we are looking to come through all of this with the SANFL and the SANFL clubs able to compete for another 143 years.
"That's been the priority and the players said, 'Well, look, we want a season and if that means we go back on the ground and we don't receive payment, then that's what we'll do'.
"That's been the vast majority of the players who've been in that position."
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The SANFL revealed its return-to-play roadmap on Saturday, including resuming non-contact training on Monday, May 18 in groups of 10 that will be divided into three zones on the ground.
Full-squad contact training will be the next step before games can be played but Parkinson said a playing return date was yet to be determined.
"We need to get ourselves in a planned approach next week, ease our way back into it, do all the right things, and show to SA Health and the rest of the community that football can do the right thing," he said.
"When we do show that, we will be able to progress to that next step of being able to come onto the ground and train as a full team and do some competitive work.
"The next stage on from that is to play matches, so it's a real staged process and that will be dependent upon how things go in South Australia, and how football returns, and that football shows, 'Yes, we can do it in a responsible way'."
Parkinson was "hopeful" of games resuming with crowds but that the SANFL would at least look to incorporate crowds as the season progresses.