Rugby Australia is facing yet another headache as they try to find ways to control costs spiralling out of control in the wake of their interim broadcast deal worth between AU$8 million and AU$9 million. Players are not happy with being asked that they continue 2020 with a 40% slash in their salaries.
A spike in novel coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Victoria forced Melbourne and RA to move the Rebels to Canberra with less than 48 hours’ notice, one week before the Super Rugby opener scheduled for the 4th of July. And players are furious about being asked to keep absorbing pay cuts.
During negotiations with the Rugby Union Players’ Association earlier this week, RA suggested that players’ current 60% restrictions lessen to 40% from October through to December 2020. This proposal was roundly rejected by RUPA and Melbourne players were so angered by the proposition that they’ve threatened to go on strike if this plan goes ahead. This response is not very likely, however, considering it would endanger the broadcast deal negotiated earlier this month between Foxtel and RA. This would see no-one getting paid.
An anonymous player has stated that all the teams are in agreement, but another indicated that it’s the Melbourne Rebels leading the pushback. And yet other sources say that the athletes didn’t raise any concerns when the Club briefed them earlier this week about the last-minute move to Canberra. Baden Stephenson says everyone’s simply thrilled to start playing again.
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