Carlton stars to vote on pay cuts - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton stars to vote on pay cuts

By Adam Cooper 27/11/2002 11:24:04 PM Comments (0)

Stephen Silvagni and Craig Bradley will not be Carlton's white knights, leaving the Blues' current star players to decide where their club's financial crisis is headed.

Carlton's stars will meet to decide on the request for them to take 25 per cent pay-cuts to help the beleaguered club out of its financial plight.

Reductions are needed to avoid a repeat of the salary cap breaches of 2000-01, which last week cost the club a fine of $930,000 and its top two national draft picks.

Carlton says it could have to axe up to 10 players unless the stars accept the cuts.

But president Ian Collins said the club had not asked new coach Denis Pagan to take a pay-cut and he was annoyed at suggestions Pagan's position was under review.

"Denis Pagan is the very best person to coach the Carlton Football Club and there is no doubt he will be a success in his role," Collins said in a statement.

"The club is in a very difficult position at present and we are fortunate to have Denis, as there is no better person to lead the football team into 2003 and into the new era.

"The issue at present relates to the requirement for a number of Carlton players to accept a pay cut."

Current stars - including Anthony Koutoufides, Lance Whitnall and captain Brett Ratten - will meet with their managers and the AFL Players Association.

But it is almost certain Silvagni, 35, and Bradley, 39, won't play again despite speculation they wanted to help their former club by playing next year for a minimum salary of $50,000.

Both Pagan and Collins ruled out the former stars, whose admissions they received under-the-table payments led to Carlton's severe penalties.

"I don't think Stephen or Craig will be playing," Pagan said.

Earlier Collins said the club needed to slash player payments because of dire salary cap problems, not hire more players.

"I don't think there's much left in any of those players ... we'd just be in a situation of trying to shore up the club's position if our list has to be shortened because of commitments through the salary cap," he told ABC radio.

Players have until next Tuesday to nominate for the December 17 pre-season draft.

Collins said Pagan had not been asked to take a pay-cut.

But Collins did not rule out the option, as independent accountants were currently reviewing the club's finances.

"We haven't asked him for a pay cut, we haven't even got to that part of the organisation," he said.

"We don't know at this point in time because we haven't got a budget for next year which can tell us exactly where our income and expenses match up.

"We can't say we won't but we can't say we will.

"But all we do know is we can't afford to pay what we're paying the players."

Pagan declined to discuss his salary but said he could cope with the strain of working at a club in financial strife after a decade at the Kangaroos.

"I don't think there'd be too many who've been through what I've been through, it's part of the job," he said.

Carlton must submit its total player payments estimations to the AFL by December 6.

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