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Why the AFL’s biggest stars could be asked to take a pay cut to help AFLW

The AFL’s biggest stars could be asked to take a pay cut to help subsidise AFLW players in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Sam McClure revealed on Sportsday that the AFLPA had been visiting clubs, flagging that possibility.

The current CBA (and broadcast rights deal) expires at the end of 2022.

“It may impact the future earnings of male players, depending on how much money the AFL gets in its next broadcast rights deal,” he said.

“They did an unbelievable job to get $2.5 billion for their last one (and) I think it’s fair to say it seems unlikely, right as we sit here today, that it would surpass $2.5 billion, given the current climate and market with free-to-air and subscription television.

“So if they don’t get that, or they don’t get a huge increase, then it means the male players are going to be forced to subsidise the AFLW wages.

“The AFL has been paying a lot of money to help support and prop up AFLW and I think they feel, and the AFLPA is trying to sell to its constituents, that it would be right for the men to help out.”

McClure said the reaction from players had been “indifferent” at this stage.

“I think some may not be alert to the fact that it’s a real possibility,” he said.

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