AFL pay offer not so low: Demetriou - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL pay offer not so low: Demetriou

Sam Lienert 17/06/2011 06:17:24 PM Comments (0)

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou says "disingenuous" public claims are being made about the size of the league's pay offer to its players.

As players prepare for a mass gathering to show their unity in seeking an improved deal, Demetriou's comments continue the public acrimony between the two parties, who remain firmly divided.

The comments came a day after AFL players' association chief executive Matt Finnis accused the league of "scare-mongering" by linking player claims for a fixed share of AFL revenue to community programs such as Auskick.

AFL chief executive Demetriou denied reports that the league, which recently netted a record $1.253 billion broadcast rights deal for the next five years, was offering players a pay rise of just three per cent per year.

"There's information that's being put about which I think is being a bit cheeky, which says we've only offered three per cent in total player payments. That is completely incorrect, that is completely wrong," Demetriou told Melbourne's 3AW radio on Friday.

"We've offered a framework, we've offered an increase in total player payments, we've offered an increase to rookies, we've offered an increase to the retirement fund and we've offered an increase to create a pool that can reward the better players in the competition.

"That, I can tell you, is absolutely substantially more than three per cent as a total package."

But Demetriou, who said he remained philosophically opposed to the players' claim for a fixed percentage of revenue, which he has previously tagged "lazy", refused to put a figure on the AFL's offer.

"What I'm saying is the three per cent figure that is being bandied about through the media is disingenuous, it's not correct," he said.

The AFLPA refused to comment publicly on the size of the AFL's offer, but denied any suggestion they were misleading players.

"The association has fully analysed everything currently on the table and can say, with absolute confidence, that we are accurately representing that offer when we speak to our members," Finnis told AAP.

It is understood that while the entire package the AFL is offering equates to a more substantial increase, it will include only a three per cent per season rise to total player payments (TPP), the figure used to cap player salaries.

The AFLPA, which says the salary cap has artificially prevented player payments rising in correlation with other AFL spending, is seeking a locked-in 25-27 per cent of AFL revenue to ensure player salaries keep pace with the game's growth.

That amount would incorporate provisions such as an improved retirement fund and better deal for rookie-listed players, as well as a TPP increase of about 10 per cent per year.

The players want a three-year deal, while the AFL wants five years.

While they will not reach agreement by their June 30 deadline, both parties have said strike action is unlikely.

But players will hold a mass meeting in Melbourne next week to show their support for the AFLPA's campaign.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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