AFL and players thawing over pay deal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL and players thawing over pay deal

By Steve Larkin 22/08/2011 04:39:26 PM Comments (0)

The AFL hopes a sudden thawing in their frosty relationship with the players' union will resolve a protracted pay battle.

The AFL commission and the AFL Players Association remain at a standoff following a meeting in Adelaide on Monday.

But AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou welcomed the tone of the meeting, saying negotiations would continue within days.

The AFL refused to budge in their refusal of the players' claims for a fixed slice of total football revenue in the next collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

"It was a pretty frank and good, collaborative meeting in so far as lots of things we do agree with," Demetriou told reporters in Adelaide.

"And at the end of the meeting, we both agreed to set about trying to resolve the CBA and do it in a timely manner."

Demetriou said the commission used the meeting to explain why it was opposed to accepting the players' claims for between 25-27 per cent of football revenue.

"The commission stated its position as to why it's opposed to fixed percentage of revenue and we maintain that," he said.

"I think the PA understand why we have got that position, and we will go away and continue the dialogue."

Asked if the players association indicated any softening of their position, Demetriou replied: "We didn't get into that."

Both the AFL commission and the association wanted to resolve the pay issue soon.

"We both reiterated at the end of that meeting that we're very keen to try and finalise the collective bargaining agreement," Demetriou said.

"It's very important that we do that in a timely manner, particularly with the end of the season not that far away.

"And of course, some clubs are about to finish the season and go off on annual leave, we're heading into finals, a very busy period.

"It's very important ... that we need to provide some certainly to our clubs in so far as their budgeting process going forward and also to the players ... to know what the TPP (total player payments) will be next year."

Demetriou, who rejected reports that industrial relations expert Bill Kelty would become involved in the negotiations, said there was no deadline to resolve the pay deal.

"In the ideal world, it would be preferable to try and get this resolved sooner rather than later, particularly as we're getting towards the end of the football season," he said.

"Hopefully, with goodwill, that will happen."

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