AFL players are preparing to take a defiant stance against an industry push for pay cuts next season.
The AFL Players Association on Monday told its constituents that while it had committed to a review of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, it was not conceding to any amendments.
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Players were pleased to hear of the position being taken by their union heads.
An AFLPA memo issued to members on Monday evening read:
"There is currently a lot of talk in the media about player payments and list sizes for next year, and any changes to these would require a change to the CBA.
"As part of the pay deal agreed between the AFL and AFLPA for players in 2020, we have committed to reviewing the CBA for the remaining two years (2021-2022).
"The current CBA runs until 2022, and we will not be reviewing it blindly – our commitment to the AFL is do the review, this does not automatically mean a commitment to it changing."
AFL players' contracts run November to October, and all players were paid 100 per cent of their deals for November 2019 through to the end of March 2020, when the 2020 season was suspended due to COVID-19.
From April, through to the end of October, they will be receiving 50 per cent of their contracts.
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Western Bulldogs chairman Peter Gordon last week flagged a 20 per cent-plus cut for players' wages for 2021 and beyond due to the expected ongoing financial carnage related to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The AFLPA memo continued:
"COVID-19 has obviously had a significant impact on 2020, and the players have taken a cut, along with the rest of the industry for 2020, but we need to understand what the longer term impact may be.
"We need complete transparency from the AFL ahead of the review and any consideration for change to the CBA can only be done once we understand the actual impact of COVID-19 on the industry."
An AFL spokesman said: "We are grateful for the support of all our players, coaches, umpires and officials in getting football back on June 11 and look forward to continuing to work with everyone across the industry as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic."