With a war brewing between the AFL and its players, league boss Gillon McLachlan has pledged to match his own pay cut with that of the players in a bid to ease tensions.
Since the AFL’s decision to postpone the league last Sunday, tensions have flared between the league and the AFL Players’ Association regarding the percentage of their salary that will be given up.
The AFL is understood to have asked players to sacrifice 79 percent of their salaries, but the players are only prepared to give up 50 percent.
“Gillon McLachlan told the club presidents that the 20 percent pay cut he talked about for him and his executive last week will in fact be a lot bigger than that,” respected AFL reporter Caroline Wilson told Footy Classified.
“The whole executives are going to take massive pay cuts now. He’s told (AFLPA CEO) Paul Marsh to take that back to the players.
“You tell the players, whatever they give up, I’ll give it up too and the executives will be giving it up as well.”
Wilson also revealed that figures both at the AFL and and club level had been left fuming at the players’ public comments regarding potential salary cuts.
“There’s a lot of very angry people behind the scenes,” she said.
“I will not accept that the AFL were happy about this. They were furious on Monday when the players not only put forward what they thought was a paltry offer, but then leaked it.
“I’m not saying who is right or wrong, but there is anger. There is disgust at some of the clubs with what they’ve had to do laying off people and the players are still talking and sounding so entitled.”
Wilson’s Footy Classified co-panellist and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire added that clubs had been left unimpressed by the figure AFL executives were initially prepared to give up.
“The clubs were filthy that they thought there was only 20 percent coming out of headquarters and the players could say the same thing,” he said.
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“The bottom line we have to get to on this whole thing is that there will be a figure and it won’t be set by the Players’ Association and it won’t even be set by the AFL. It will be set by the banks.
“It’s not a negotiation. They are all still trying at this moment to figure out what the money will be, and it will be predicated on a few things.
“We don’t know whether the members will get their money back, we don’t know whether the sponsors are going to do so.
“Every day we’re finding a figure and it either gets bigger or smaller by the end of the day, that’s the crux of the issue.”