afl vs players pay dispute

Lavender Bushranger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2005
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And you are, in fact, wrong.
Football players are employees on fixed contracts. They're not contractors, which is what you're describing in your third paragraph.

Under the fair work act, employees can be stood down if work is not available for reasons beyond the employers control.
Interesting!

So this is where I don't really get why the AFL puts up with Paul Marsh's shit sometimes.

What's to discuss? If what you're saying is true, why don't they just tell the players to get f’ed?

How are the players in any position to demand anything?

I thought they had contracts and therefore had a right to their money. And although unreasonable, they at least had the AFL over a barrel and were within their rights to be driving the conversation.

But if they're legally not entitled to anything - the AFL surely just tells them to piss off?
 
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Bats

Draftee
Jun 3, 2011
1
1
Kulin
AFL Club
West Coast
None of these parties have covered themselves in glory from the get go on this issue, and like many have already said, respect from the general public is going out the window. Once again the AFL thought they could control the narrative and get the season under, whilst almost every sport in the world had already been shutdown. Then the players, through the likes of Reiwoldt etc start publicly start grandstanding about their work raising funds for the bushfire relief to justify their position on pay cuts. Whilst bushfires were devastating, players actually sacrificed very little other then 3 hours to run around the G.
Unfortunately the true colours of all those involved in the AFL (players and execs)have come out showing them as nothing more then Fat Cats who look after their own insular group of mates in the Boys Club.
Would not be unreasonable to expect the current AFL Exec. to fall on their sword after this all settles, as they have been totally irresponsible with the billions of dollars poured into the AFL through TV rights by helping themselves to obscene incomes and dumping endless amount money into the likes of the Suns, GWS, China etc. Yet at the same time completely neglecting the game itself by not have a contingency plan in place should a season ever go into recess.

Whilst I agree in principle, imagine the outcry from everyone in Australia (not supporting clubs, grass roots etc)if the AFL executive salted away $500m ' for a rainy day',

They would be hung drawn and quartered.
 

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Falcon27

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I’m no law talking guy, but I don’t thi k it’s a catch all for everybody, would it not need to be part of the contract?
Your right, it does need to be within the contract. But more often then not a contract that has been written up by a lawyer would have it in some way.
I would guess the reason why a lot of the AFL’s commercial money has dried up is that Broadcasters, Sponsors etc may have relied on this to cease payments, despite having multi year contracts.
But I Am just speculating!
 

Lavender Bushranger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2005
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Your right, it does need to be within the contract. But more often then not a contract that has been written up by a lawyer would have it in some way.
I would guess the reason why a lot of the AFL’s commercial money has dried up is that Broadcasters, Sponsors etc may have relied on this to cease payments, despite having multi year contracts.
But I Am just speculating!
I assumed the reason that the broadcasters stopped paying is because the AFL simply aren't providing the service they paid for?
 

greatwhiteshark

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 3, 2007
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Pretty much every job in the world if there is no work then people are stood down without pay or actually lose their job completely.
Why do we regard sport differently and why do they have a choice to negotiate?
There is no football and therefore there is no requirement for any footballers at this current time.
Why are footballers getting preferential treatment yet our Sons and Daughters have to accept that they are simply unemployed.
 

Falcon27

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I assumed the reason that the broadcasters stopped paying is because the AFL simply aren't providing the service they paid for?
If you have a multi year contract, you can only stop paying if a clause/condition has been triggered. Or otherwise you end up with a breach of contract by one party, or the other. All parties will still be relying on their contracts to determine their position.
 

bellpark

Team Captain
Aug 18, 2009
312
847
Adelaide
AFL Club
Geelong
I started a thread on the Port board about the financial impact on the structure of Port, the AFL and the lasting issues. Been going for a few days but tonight I tried to work out what an 80% pay cut for the players looks like compared to the dole, which has been doubled. This is a straight cut and paste of what I posted.

The dole - Newstart Allowance has been doubled from approx $550 a fortnight to approx $1,100 a fortnight. That is what some people have to now live on after getting the axe and may take years to find a replacement job.

The players won't be on 20% of their 2020 salary in 2021 if there is a full season. TV guys will pay their contracted amounts or close to it so the players will get their proper contracted amounts or close to it.

I assume that the players base salary for March will be paid on 31st March and the minimum $5,000 per game match payment that the players would have got for Rd 1.

So I reckon the players should accept something like this
Base payment $80,000 to $200,000 a year get $1,000 a week
Base payment $200,001 to $300,000 a year get $1,500 a week
Base payment $300,001+ a year get $2,000 a week

Given the statistical average 2019 was the following from AFL annual report


View attachment 847403


and from the earnings bands after taking into account match payments of $5,000, unless a player accepted a lower base and higher match payments, roughly 1/3rd of players fall into each band, so approx 15 players per band.

That would be a wages bill of $15k +$22.5k +$30k = $67.5k a week. Over a quarter of the year that would be 13 x $67.5k = $877.5k.

The 2020 salary cap amount per club is $13.013m (yes I know there was $14m payments counted outside the cap in 2019 AFL wide) and the Additional Service Agreements are worth $1.159m, which maybe paid by either the club, or a sponsor, or associate of the club, the potential annual player wages bill is $14.172m.

So over 13 weeks the players would get approx $3.5m at a club that pays 100% of the salary cap and ASA's.

$877.5/$3,500 = 25.07% is what the players would get paid over those 3 months. The AFL apparently is asking for them to get paid only 20% or 21%, depending on which report you read, but want to make it an equal cut across the board.

I have allowed for rookies to get more than 20% and some of those over a base of $300k, to get less than 20% for those who get over $500,000 are getting less than 20% pay.

A rookie only earning $80,000 a year and $500 a SANFL/WAFL/VFL game would be getting the equivalent of $1538 per week + $500 per sanfl game = $2038 per week before tax.

The AFL would be asking them to earn 20% of $1,538 per week = $307.60 per week which would be all tax free whereas on the dole they could now get approx $550 per week tax free.

That's why it can't be a blunt equal 80% pay cut across the board.
Great work REH - so basically if I follow your logic as well, then the players may be saying to the AFL, ''If you do this, a reasonable percentage of us will quit because we get more on the dole, and you may have every club with holes in their lists and potentially be in a start again scenario. I'm in Adelaide trying to keep my company going and we have applied (by agreement) the same work changes to everyone, including me (the CEO), to see if we cant get through with no job losses. We also covered clearly what happens to everyone individually if there is a full shutdown so the can share that with their families. I am feeling like the AFL situation is a more traditional big corporate approach, where every discussion has a backdrop of the parties having an eye on who has power post the recovery, and that will not get the AFL through this. So somehow they need to get 18 clubs, the AFL, the Sponsors and Commercial partners and the ALFPA all aligned to survival only to have meaningful progress. I'd be more confident for Port and my club Geelong getting themselves aligned for survival, but we have some clubs who are sitting on bags of cash (Eagles, Collingwood, Richmond) who have Directors with conflicts here and potential liabilites if they guarantee loans, etc. Complex and many moving parts to align, and while all that's going on, it looks like at the bottom of the pyramid, a lot of players may be being asked to take less than the dole. Really good post REH, makes it a bit real !
 

RussellEbertHandball

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Great work REH - so basically if I follow your logic as well, then the players may be saying to the AFL, ''If you do this, a reasonable percentage of us will quit because we get more on the dole, and you may have every club with holes in their lists and potentially be in a start again scenario. I'm in Adelaide trying to keep my company going and we have applied (by agreement) the same work changes to everyone, including me (the CEO), to see if we cant get through with no job losses. We also covered clearly what happens to everyone individually if there is a full shutdown so the can share that with their families. I am feeling like the AFL situation is a more traditional big corporate approach, where every discussion has a backdrop of the parties having an eye on who has power post the recovery, and that will not get the AFL through this. So somehow they need to get 18 clubs, the AFL, the Sponsors and Commercial partners and the ALFPA all aligned to survival only to have meaningful progress. I'd be more confident for Port and my club Geelong getting themselves aligned for survival, but we have some clubs who are sitting on bags of cash (Eagles, Collingwood, Richmond) who have Directors with conflicts here and potential liabilites if they guarantee loans, etc. Complex and many moving parts to align, and while all that's going on, it looks like at the bottom of the pyramid, a lot of players may be being asked to take less than the dole. Really good post REH, makes it a bit real !
The rookies was my main concern before I started doing the calculation.

If they get an 80% pay cut and only are getting paid $307.60 per week I don't know whether they can apply for Newstart Allowance.

The doubling of Newstart was only announced last weekend, and we heard the grumblings from the players last week. Maybe the AFL did the calculation and said $307.60 is better than $275 per week before the Newstart Allowance was doubled.

The $1,000/$1,500/$2,000 per week scenario is before tax.

When you look at income tax, medicare levy less the Low Income Offset and Low and Middle Income Offset the Rookie would be left with around $830 per week as opposed to $550 per week on Newstart Allowance.
 

seanoff

Premiership Player
Mar 12, 2007
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I think the players need to be more flexible here.

all the players contracted will have received 40% of their annual payments by the end of March. those in the upper echelon can probs afford to take a pretty large haircut. The rookies and 1st and 2nd year players are in a totally different position.

if you’re buddy you’ve got 400k already. If you are a first yr player. You’ve got somewhere between 20 - 40 k

offer as Close to full pay for the lower paid players. The blokes like Dangerfield can take a lot less.

the aflpa don’t seem to have a handle on where the money comes from. If they got paid 50% from here on out. Buddy etc would earn 700k.

be flexible aflpa.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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I think the players need to be more flexible here.

all the players contracted will have received 40% of their annual payments by the end of March. those in the upper echelon can probs afford to take a pretty large haircut. The rookies and 1st and 2nd year players are in a totally different position.

if you’re buddy you’ve got 400k already. If you are a first yr player. You’ve got somewhere between 20 - 40 k

offer as Close to full pay for the lower paid players. The blokes like Dangerfield can take a lot less.

the aflpa don’t seem to have a handle on where the money comes from. If they got paid 50% from here on out. Buddy etc would earn 700k.

be flexible aflpa.
40% of their annual base payments, not total annual payments.

If a player on $100-$120k base plays 22 games they earn at least another $110k. But agree with your point.
 

HTPunter

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 27, 2014
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Caro's Arrow on point.

No one wants draftees to join the rest of the population in being jobless and having no income.

But I have 0 sympathy for players trying to pay for investment properties or if they've pissed half a dozen years of 6 figure salaries up the wall with booze, overseas holidays and gambling. The bubble is real. They think we need it burst, but they are the ones who have no clue.

Pretty straight forward answer would be the AFL starting off with a basic income for all players- being 80 or 100k. Still way above rest of population anyway, doesn't hurt draftees and rookies at all. Still be what, 60-70 million in salaries, but it's down from 225 million? It's a start. Rather than 1 month of income and preaching to us they did a bushfire charity game (the stars on 500k+ a year) so we should acknowledge their sacrifice. Woo boy. Real world, this aint it.
 

Cotchins Hair Piece

Bouffant Flat Top
Mar 6, 2019
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AFLPA have no leverage at the negotiation table, absolutely nothing. The PR battle is already lost.




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Actually they do, they’re protected via a no ‘call-back method’. Meaning they’re wages can still rise with the game but not plunge if the game goes backwards (as it is now).
 

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HirdsTheWord

Swans hard to deal with
Jun 19, 2014
5,175
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who gives a flying fu** if they have investment properties?

There will be PLENTY of people in the real world who are forced to sell assets like properties to stay afloat - should be no different to the players.

If they cant afford to pay their property off then ******* sell it.

Players have no perspective for real life it seems.
 

MC Extra Dollop

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 17, 2006
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It's like the PM debate when it always used to start by asking them how much 2L of milk or a loaf of bread cost at the shops. We sort of assumed that most AFL players are out of touch and can't necessarily expect them to sympathise with the average club member, but when other employees at the club are being axed like there's no tomorrow, you'd assume that there'd be a moment of clarity somewhere.

I can see where they're coming from and more power to them, but it's one thing to be a greedy, selfish pig, quite another to make statements where you're trying to come off as a man of the people and just sounding like you haven't got a clue.

I remember when there was a threat of an NBA lockout before the 1995/96 season and an unidentified NBA player was asked to guess the average person's salary. I think he guessed something like $500,000. In US dollars. 25 years ago.
 

Barrysballs

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Actually they do, they’re protected via a no ‘call-back method’. Meaning they’re wages can still rise with the game but not plunge if the game goes backwards (as it is now).
Dont you think that clause is worthless when there is zero money coming in?
There is no backwards there is nothing, that seems to be what the players don't understand There is no money and quite possibly will be reduced money from tv rights when we come out of this

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Walter H White

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Nov 22, 2014
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Reiwoldt bathing himself in glory during this period. "Putting their bodies on the line" for the fire charity game - and using that as an excuse for moderate pay reduction during COVID-19. What a gutter comment...
I couldn't believe it when Jack said that. Insulting to both the victims of the bushfires AND the people most affected by the coronavirus.

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1970crow

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Jun 7, 2011
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Just my thoughts but with the current situation on player payments and how much the afl talk up being broke or going broke should there be a basic payment structure introduced for the next 4 or 5 years to help recover ?

Something like below

1st & 2nd year players $60,000 + education/qualification/trade @ choice of players preference

3rd & 4th year players $80,000 + education/qualification/trade @ choice of players preference

5th to 8th year player $120,000 + business/management education @ choice of players preference

9th to 11th year players $160,000 business investment planning @ choice of players preference

The above is a flat payment for all players across the board based on years of service.

The base payment is on top of the clubs paying each player a flat amount of $35,000 per annum for living expenses.


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Anything that would make David Mackay an equal highest paid player in the league is basically a foregone conclusion. It’s the only thing his career is missing.
 

PhatBoy

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May 5, 2016
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I think it’s very harsh and well, stupid, to dismiss the players’ action off hand.

for starters, roughly half the players on any given list don’t play AFL each week. The fringe players wouldn’t be on much money themselves, so the ones stuck in the twos or the state leagues would be on very average money. So writing off dangerfield or Riewoldt as being greedy just because THEY are on good money, when what they are actually doing is speaking for hundreds of players on average money, is very short sighted.

secondly while it may sound like a good problem to have, to be paying off expensive investment properties, players when they make those purchases are doing so having signed a contract. That contract binds them to being paid what they’ve signed for. So who the hell is anyone to scoff at them using that promised wage to set up their future via an investment property? In most of western society, the idea of investing one’s earnings is looked on as a sensible action. Just because of an impossible to predict catastrophe it doesn’t change that so absolutely if I was a player in that situation I’d be concerned.
I’ve lost my income for the time being - half of it anyway as one of my two jobs has been shitcanned and the other only pays bills for my ex wife. So yeah I wish I had the sort of money these guys are getting but that wouldn’t make it any easier for them
 

kickazz

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 12, 2010
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It's amazing that an organisation that has so much of the public give it so much of their time and money (directly and via tv rights, etc), can go to shit so quickly, can feel the need to lay off people so quickly. I thought they might be more resilient, but perhaps they are constantly touching cloth financially.

Many other organisations face tough times and they can sort of keep the ship going for a while. Do the AFL and the clubs spend way too much? Is it too much debt? Too many snouts in the trough?

I don't understand.
 

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